CAIRO – 9 June 2021: After the June 30 revolution, all the sectors of the Egyptian state have been carrying out development and restoration operations in all government facilities, including cultural facilities.
One of the undertaken projects is the development and renewal of the National Theater in Cairo. The project started on October 1, 2009 and was completed on August 15, 2015 at a cost of L.E. 105 million.
The theater was closed in 2008 after a major fire, then opened in 2014, and closed again in 2017 due to some obstacles in civil protection works, which were efficiently overcome. The theater reopened after a three-month hiatus in February 2018.
The National Theater spans over an area of approximately 3504 square meters, and consists of a stage (the hall - balcony), a warehouse building, an actors building of concrete, an integrated administrative building on the ground, a 3-storey building, a public site roof, an entrance hall and an external wall with a main and secondary entrance.
It is worth noting that the site of the National Theater in Cairo is one of the oldest sites in Mamluk Cairo, dating back to the 15th century AD. The Mamluks took it as a site to erect palaces and places of entertainment around the pond that it enclosed at the time.
With the advent of Napoleon Bonaparte with the French campaign 1799-1801, he decided to establish a theater to entertain his soldiers. Eventually, the French Campaign left Egypt and Mohamed Ali took over the North African country’s rule. He issued a decree to drain the pond and turn it into a public garden.
Then Khedive Ismail, while planning for the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, constructed a building at the southern end of the park for the French comedy theater "Comedy Françoise" next to the opera building, which was established in the same year with the aim of receiving delegations participating in the legendary celebrations of the opening of the canal.
At the Azbakeya Teatro, the first Egyptian theater was later established. In 1885, this theater witnessed the first theatrical season for the Abu Khalil al-Qabbani troupe in Cairo.