Teatro Maratti restoration
to re-make piazza
BY DANIELLE ABBOTT
CAMERANO, Italy-- Many towns throughout Italy have a building that
perfectly represents centuries of change and history within the
town. In Camerano that building is the Teatro Maratti, a place that
sparks memories of the past and dreams of the future.
Teatro Maratti at dusk.
Photo by Kelly
Construction of the theater,
named for Carlo Maratti, the famous Baroque painter born in Camerano,
began in 1870. After a long building process, it was finally completed
in 1913. The Teatro Maratti was viewed as such an important part
of Camerano, that a tower was built to house one of only two clocks
in town; the other is on a local school.
After its completion, the building fulfilled a greater purpose
than a stage with seats and became the center of town, according
to Alberto Recanatini, a local historian and author. When he was
growing up, he remembers, the theater “was more important
than the Town Hall. It was a neutral and non-political meeting ground
for family, friends and neighbors.”
The theater allowed Cameranesi
of all ages and classes to entertain their families through poetry,
plays, singing and dancing. After Sunday’s religious services,
people flocked to the theater not only to fill the seats on the
floor or in reserved boxes, but also to be peaceful, relax and talk
to everyone at a central meeting place.
Recanatini says the theater was also used in winter as a community
fireplace. People would bring a small share of wood, and everyone’s
logs, combined, would heat the crowd for hours. People were able
to use a minimal amount of their wood supply, and enjoy local storytelling
Since many of the better-known actors and performers were from
larger cities, people at the Teatro Maratti enjoyed the entertainment
and talent of local performers. Some performers had much schooling
and education, while others were uneducated craftsmen with little
or none. Yet Camerano was so desperate for culture and entertainment,
that class and social status were nearly non-existent within the
During the end of the
1920s and into the 1930s, all of Italy began to evolve from theater
to silent movies and the more modern cinema. For several years,
the building offered both live theater and motion pictures. Near
the end of World War II, the Teatro Maratti was showing only movies,
and the building began to decline in popularity as the nearby city
of Ancona showed the more important and popular films.
Learn about Carlo Maratti, the Baroque artist.
Video by Mark
|The year 1946 brought one
of the most traumatic events to occur in Camerano. A man who had just
returned from the war, who was wanted by the police for selling merchandise
on the black market, decided to attend the theater for an evening.
Local police officers told him to stop as he was leaving the building,
and when he refused, he was instantly shot dead. As the crowd of theatergoers
stood shocked and horrified, they began to question the motives of
the police officer who fired the fatal shot. Some people think excessive
force may have been used because the officer was a rival black market
seller. The homicide is the only one that has occurred in Camerano.