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Castres municipal Theatre  

Opened on 17th April 1904, this Italian rococo style theatre was built according to Joseph Galinier’s plans, an architect from Toulouse and a pupil of Garnier. The interior layout is that of the Light Opera of Paris and the external architectural style is an original mixture borrowed from past centuries and is a reference to the decorative language of his period.

The painting that decorates the splendid hall and the dome that overhangs the dining room are signed by Jean-Paul Laurens, decorator of the Paris town hall, the Panthéon and the Capitole in Toulouse.

The painting, a monumental composition representing the performance of Beethoven’s 9th symphony, is titled «La Musique» and dated 1902.
In the dome, a trompe-l’œil painting represents a ripped canopy showing scenes from a classical tragedy: Oedipus and his daughter Antigone, Hamlet and the gravediggers, Athalia’s dream and Prometheus chained on the rock.
The Castres theatre possesses the one dome painted by Jean-Paul Laurens; as that of the Odéon Theatre in Paris was removed during restoration.
From 1904, the theatre programme was made up of an opera season, a theatrical season and variety evenings.

In 1931, the theatre opened to talking films and after the second world war the theatrical activities came to an end.


In 1982, the municipality restored the building and reinstituted it as a theatre.

Today it is a place of creativity and artistic shows, equipped with excellent technical sound and light equipment.
Its remarkable acoustics make it an ideal premise for the entertainment season. Temporary photographic exhibitions are also organized throughout the year in the standing galleries.
Visitors may at any moment, see the inside of the theatre by asking at the reception that is also the cultural information point and booking office. Visits are organized for school groups by simply request with the cultural service.