On the 250th anniversary of the birth of Debrecen-born poet Mihály Csokonai Vitéz, the theater bearing his name has reopened after a three-year long renovation. The Csokonai Theater – built between 1861 and ’65 according to the plans of architect Antal Szkalnitzky – opened again with a gala show on 17 September 2023.
The full renovation started in September 2020, before which the building was modernised on a larger scale in the early 1980s, but the scale of the renovation that has now been carried out has not been done since the building was completed. A few months after the site was opened, the contractor, HUNÉP Zrt., began demolishing the building down to the structure, and the space under the stage was stripped down to the bricks, six and a half metres deep. A very important element of the renovation is the preservation of the value of the building, and the works were carried out under the supervision of the monument.
The theatre has been completely restored to the original plans and in its old style. The most different part compared to the previous state is the arrival area. When arriving at the theatre, guests are now greeted by a spacious colonnade and a beautiful, bright and elegant space, whereas before, the arrival experience for anyone entering the doors of the Csokonai Theatre was a very high, steep staircase. The auditorium has also been transformed in terms of capacity, almost doubling the capacity of the theatre. From 350 full seats, the capacity of the theatre has now increased to more than 600 people.