June 2022

Things really got moving this June as more skilled workers and other professionals zipped in and out of the theatre to contribute to its restoration. More work was done near the new stage ceiling area, the side internal balconies as well as the front apron of the main stage, with changes being implemented on site everyday. Even though everything is moving, expenses for this restoration have proven to be much higher than expected, and in light of this we are also working hard to find donations, funds and sponsors to make this project possible and finally have our theatre open again for our communities.

May 2022

More work was done near the new stage ceiling area, the side internal balconies as well as the front apron of the main stage, with changes being implemented on site everyday. Even though everything is moving, expenses for this restoration have proven to be much higher than expected, and in light of this we are also working hard to find donations, funds and sponsors to make this project possible and finally have our theatre open again for our communities.

April 2022

In the last month we had various meetings with the architects and engineers, and other agencies involved to discuss logistics, planning and coordination of the work. These are essential meetings that complement the continuous and practical construction and manual work. 

March 2022

The theatre’s roof captivated our energy and attention this month. For most of March the builders continued to strengthen, repair and rebuild some elements of the theatre’s roof.  Concrete beams have now been placed, to roof our stage area. Work in progress continues to take shape, hoping for a smooth way forward. 

February 2022

Renovations are on-going and we have now reached the very top. This is a very delicate process. The construction team is tasked with dismantling the old stage roof and replacing it with a new one. An endeavour that involves precise focus and a lot of coordination. We are hoping that the work, the wind and the rain will be in our favour.

January 2022

The renovation works at Teatru Salesjan continue to evolve under the guidance of Architect Briffa and Perit Chris Cuschieri. Inside the auditorium, construction work continues to move upwards towards the stage ceiling. Our efforts will be poured into the task of having the ceiling replaced next. Over the past month, our workers have successfully altered the two side doors that lead to the stage, along with initiating the renovation of the side balconies. These features are being altered to reverse to their original place and style. In the meantime restoration work to the louvers, the theatre’s original window blinds, is underway. This is thanks to the Social Development Fund, that we are grateful to have received.

December 2021

As we move into the new year, we continue with our work on the stage area, restructuring the facade with lowered doors, a re-invigorated under-stage and the formation of new, united balconies. Progress is slowly but surely heading in the right direction, our beloved theatre is at a crossroads in its renovations, with so much work that has already been done and so much more that still needs to be undertaken. We look forward to what the new year holds and god willing, will see the project through and be able to welcome our audiences back home in the near future.

November 2021

Our progress continues steadily, with so much work that has been done and so much that still needs doing. Present work is being focused on the upper stage area, as we are looking to unite both sides of the upper stage. The two doors on either side of the stage have also been lowered to pave the way for our new balconies which still await construction. The next big step will be seeing the laying of the new stage ceiling in January, which after countless years of service, is in dire need of a replacement. The hard work being laid into the project is a testament of just how colossal this task is, taking up resources, time, money and love to see it through.

October 2021

Work at Teatru Salesjan continues.  Some of it is seen; as in the case if construction work, painting of beams, renovation of apertures and windows, etc, but some of the work is not visibly seen as it takes place around a table to plan, discuss and implement ahead. There is so much more that needs to be done and so much is being done.  We continue on – With so much Hope!

September 2021

This month we have been working our way up towards the treasured Cali to reinforce the support structure. We have now transitioned into working on the beams in the central auditorium space, treating the sturdy beams to ensure they are safe and long lasting. 

A painstaking process that keeps on unearthing many other major and minor works.  While this revival is certainly all consuming, it will be worthwhile for all who will eventually walk through our doors again. 

Thanks to the Malta Planning Authority, our process is being further supported through their belief in this renovation.  Read further via this article in Gwida.  

August 2021

After more than 45 years, the original doors connecting the backstage flywings to the balconies above the auditorium have been reopened! Another milestone in the journey of renovating our beautiful theatre – safeguarding its legacy while also bringing it into the 21st century. These two doors will increase access to the backstage and will be an asset for technicians working at Teatru Salesjan!

July 2021

As the July heat forces its way through the theatre’s walls, the tireless workers persevere. This month has been spent building scaffolding to support the manual construction of iron beam skeletons that will hold the weight of the stage. This will then be covered with concrete to ensure everyone’s safety in case of a fire. The balconies in the auditorium have also begun to be broken down in order to fortify and extend them as they originally were when the theatre was built in 1908. 

June 2021

Having worked long and hard with our foundations, we are now starting to see the rebuilding of the stage. We are setting up the ceiling to the under stage area, which will provide the theatre with a rehearsal room as big as the stage itself. In the meantime, our wooden floorboards (dating back to 1908) are being carefully restored by Renald Bezzina who specialises in restoration and conservation.

May 2021

A month of rerouting rainwater and waterproofing the under stage and orchestra pit areas! Being so close to the sea, the foundations need to be especially resistant against mould and decay. This level of attention and care will surely bear fruit for years to come. 

April 2021

This April we would like to take the opportunity to thank our workers; Rohan, Duncan and Etienne who have been with us for the last few months, coming in everyday to help us achieve our vision! This month the stage area is being rebuilt, with the proscenium walls being fortified to protect the Cali.

March 2021

We have reached the end of the excavation works! We are now fortifying the foundations and supporting the walls around the new stage area. Our balconies look very different, and we cannot wait to see them extend all the way to the proscenium, just like they were when the theatre was built in 1908.

February 2021

So much happening all through February with the excavations! We are now almost at the end of it and focusing on fortifying and extending the balconies to the proscenium,  taking them back to the way they were originally. In fact the balconies at Teatru Salesjan were shortened in the 50s, in order to allow a cinema screen to extend the whole width of the proscenium. 

January 2021

2021 commenced with the excavation and fortification of the proscenium that holds Cali’s The Virtues of Mankind. We are now very close to finishing the excavations under the stage. We are in discussion with our architects and engineers to pick the best materials and products for our theatre, to open with a safe, beautiful and welcoming space for artists, producers, technicians and the community at large.

December 2020

As the exciting renovations continue inside, Teatru Salesjan keeps looking for ways to connect with the community in person, notwithstanding the current reality. Our dedicated volunteers have been busy distributing postcards, while Sally Sounds brought festive cheer and beautiful carols to the Sliema Promenade and The Independence Gardens. The theatre’s doors remain open for Food Bank, and treasures keep getting unearthed as we progress through a script archiving project in collaboration with the University of Malta. As the year comes to an end, we cannot help but get excited for what is in store for the theatre in 2021. Exciting times ahead, no doubt!

November 2020

November set off with a lot of preparations. Architects, engineers and theatre experts all came together to discuss the best possible outcome for Teatru Salesjan. The last day of November marked the first day of the excavation work. In the meantime, we have continued working on our crowdfunding campaign, and have sent away some beautiful postcards to thank our patrons! Stay tuned to see the changes planned for December.

October 2020

Moving through eight moths of shut down, Teatru Salesjan was committed to taking the Arts to the people, launching Kwazi Teatru; a series of online productions from Atturi Salesjan’s archives and Sounds in Silence; a series of short classical concerts delivered after mass. In the theatre, we carried out a large moving operation, whereby our beautiful, red seats were moved to premises close by. The operation, taking around 12 hours, 6 people and 3 trucks, was necessary to keep the iron cast cinema seats from the 50’s, safe until we are ready to open once more. Onwards and upwards!

September 2020

In its seventh month of shut down, Teatru Salesjan reaches out to its community for support. This month we recorded a snapshot of the haunting scenes from this 112-year-old theatre, closed and void from the many people that once animated it. You can help us through this crisis and keep this community theatre alive.

August 2020

This month the theatre has taken a dusty step forward. More than a hundred years later, the wooden floorboards holding the stage have been dismantled to receive a good polish and some much needed TLC. We have also carefully removed some of the tiles to be polished and placed back once the necessary excavation has come to an end.

July 2020

This month we worked on the removal of all electrical wiring, in order to create a safe environment for the workers to commence excavation next month. We have also taken this time to have conservation and restoration specialists Prevarti to have a look at our priceless Cali.

June 2020

Now that restrictions have started to be gradually lifted, we are able to get more hands on deck to work on the theatre’s renovations. Given the go ahead by both health authorities and our architects and engineers, work on the stage ceiling and fly loft is scheduled to start in a few weeks….ready for the transformation!

May 2020

A stage, hauntingly empty ready to start its makeover, and take shape for years to come. We are eager for you to follow us along the way, leading to a stage, revitalised and recharged with new energy.

April 2020

Nothing like a bit of spring cleaning! Chairs, frames, photos …. 

We also removed our proscenium curtain. This curtain, which is reinforced at the back by WWII tents. It was made in the  early 1950’s by Joe Busuttil and his father. Rich and loved as it is, this curtain now deserves to rest. Notorious for occasionally malfunctioning during curtain calls, and heavy as it is, it will be substituted by a safer, lighter material. We look ahead to the future, but never forget the glorious past.

March 2020

Once the directive came in that all public spaces and theatre were to be closed, we decided we would start by removing all the lanterns and trussing. Over five days, one employee and one volunteer worked on clearing all the space on stage and in the auditorium. Hard work but a once in a lifetime peek at the past… we even found a secret note hidden beneath a tile!

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