Jerusalem Theater

Jerusalem Theater

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Encyclopedia
The Jerusalem Theater is a center for the performing arts in Jerusalem, Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

. The theater opened in 1971. The complex consists of the Sherover Theatre, which seats 950, the Henry Crown Symphony Hall (home of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra
Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra
The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra of the Israel Broadcasting Authority is a major orchestra of Israel...

) with 750 seats, the Rebecca Crown Auditorium, with 450 seats, and the Little Theater with 110 seats. Changing art exhibits are held in the main foyer and other spaces in the building, and a restaurant and bookshop operate on the ground floor.

History


In 1958, the Jerusalem Municipality, headed by Mordechai Ish Shalom, held a design competition for a municipal theater on a plot of 11 dunams (2.8 acres), on the southern edge of the Talbiya
Talbiya
Talbiya or Talbiyeh , officially Komemiyut, is an upscale neighborhood in Jerusalem, Israel, located between Rehavia and Katamon. It was built in the 1920s and 1930s on land purchased from the Greek Patriarchate...

 neighborhood. Architects Michael Nadler, Shulamit Nadler and Shmuel Bixson won first prize. The municipality also received a large donation from the Jewish millionaire Miles Sherover, who made his fortune in Venezuela.

The cornerstone laying took place in October 1964. Despite plans to complete the building within two years, work progressed slowly due to disputes and budgetary problems. Critics claimed that the city had more pressing problems and predicted that the theater would be a "white elephant." The building was dedicated in October 1971.

American millionaire Lester Crown
Lester Crown
Lester Crown is the son of Chicago financier Henry Crown , who created Material Service with two brothers in 1919, which merged with General Dynamics in 1959. He has been a perennial member of the Forbes 400 list since 1982...

, who had donated $9 million for a new sports stadium, in the Shuafat
Shuafat
Shu'fat , also Shuafat and Sha'fat, is a Palestinian Arab neighborhood of East Jerusalem, forming part of north-eastern Jerusalem. Located on the old Jerusalem-Ramallah road about three miles north of the Old City, Shuafat has a population of 35,000 residents...

 area that was never built, was persuaded by Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek
Teddy Kollek
Theodor "Teddy" Kollek was mayor of Jerusalem from 1965 to 1993, and founder of the Jerusalem Foundation. Kollek was re-elected five times, in 1969, 1973, 1978, 1983 and 1989...

 to change the designation of the donation from sports to arts and culture. The money was used to build the Henry Crown Concert Hall, which seats 750, and the Rebecca Crown Auditorium, which seats 450. The planning and design of the new wing was carried out by the same architectural firm, so that the new wing, named for Crown's parents, was a natural continuation of the original design.

Architecture


The theater combines sculptural elements of exposed concrete with traditional Jerusalem stone
Jerusalem stone
Jerusalem stone is a name applied to various types of pale limestone, dolomite and dolomitic limestone, common in and around Jerusalem that have been used in building since ancient times...

 construction. It sits in a large public square that is used for outdoor concerts and other events.

See also

  • International Convention Center (Jerusalem)
    International Convention Center (Jerusalem)
    The International Convention Centre , commonly known as Binyenei HaUma , is a concert hall and conventional center in Giv'at Ram in Jerusalem, Israel. It is the largest convention center in the Middle East...

  • Music of Israel
    Music of Israel
    The music of Israel is a combination of Jewish and non-Jewish music traditions that have come together over the course of a century to create a distinctive musical culture. For more than 100 years, musicians have sought original stylistic elements that would define the emerging national spirit...

  • Architecture of Israel
    Architecture of Israel
    The architecture of Israel is composed of many different styles of building brought in by those who have occupied the country over the ages, sometimes modified to suit the local climate and landscape...

  • Culture of Israel
    Culture of Israel
    The culture of Israel developed long before the foundation of the State of Israel in 1948 and combines the heritage of secular and religious lives. Much of the diversity in Israel's culture comes from the diversity of its population...