The Teatro Municipal (Municipal Theatre) of Rio de Janeiro is located in Cinelândia (Praça Marechal Floriano) in the city center of downtown Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Built in the beginning of the twentieth century, it is one of the most beautiful and important theatres in the country. The Municipal theatre had its heyday in the first half of twentieth century, a time when theatrical activity in the then capital of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, was very intense and had a major impact on the cultural lives of the Carioca inhabitants.
The Municipal theatre had a capacity for 1,739 viewers and featured performances by renowned symphony orchestras and operas. The theater was closed for restoration on October 19, 1975 and reopened a more modernized performance hall on March 15, 1978. Today the Municipal theatre in Rio de Janeiro features performances — mainly ballet and classical music productions.
When you walk inside the grand theater you’ll quickly notice its interior is just as luxurious as the facade, decked out in sculptures by prolific artist Henrique Bernardelli and paintings by Rodolfo Amoedo and Eliseu Visconti — who are also responsible for the magnificent drop curtain, the frieze on the proscenium, the nave ceiling and the decor of the ceiling in the foyer. The restaurant Assírius in the basement has a peculiar style, perhaps due to its unique Assyrian decor.
The design of the building is inspired by the Paris Opera of Charles Garnier, resulting in an eclectic style. Inscribed on the outer walls of the Municipal theatre are the names of classical Eurocentric and Brazilian artists. The Municipal Theatre in Rio de Janeiro is located near the Brazilian National Library and the National Fine Arts Museum, overlooking the spacious Cinelândia Square in downtown.