São Luiz Municipal Theater inaugurated in 1894 was the scene of first-rate shows of national culture. There were situations that marked the Portuguese cultural life. Almada Negreiros read his “Ultimatum Futurista” in 1916, with Fernando Pessoa sitting in the middle of a scandalized audience.
Fritz Lang’s futuristic movie “Metropolis” was screened in 1928 in S. Luiz room with an orchestra. With the rise of new movie theaters, the screening of the movie Metropolis paved the way for a dispute with Tivoli, opened in 1924, designed by Raul Lino and considered the most chic animator in Lisbon.
But the truth is that the first voice that was heard in the cinema in Portugal, was with the French film “Prize of Beauty” in São Luiz. Thus for decades, he exhibited almost exclusively the productions of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the strongest and most prestigious studio in Hollywood.
In 1971 São Luiz, after losing its public and audience, was acquired by the Lisbon City Council and was renamed São Luiz Municipal Theater. Later and already in 1988, after a fire it was hosting sporadic events. In the late nineties, a program was designed by architect Francisco Silva Dias, which allowed the launch of an international public competition in 1998 for the requalification and conservation of the theater.
In 1999 the works began and later in 2000 the rehabilitation and improvement of the room Mario Viegas, Winter Garden and Cafeteria with the project of the architect José Romano. Thus São Luiz Theater, opened again with a new space, the theater cafe, wisely decorated by Nuno Ladeiro to affirm the new atmosphere, the fantastic Winter Garden with the restoration of “Neptuno” fresco panel, by set designer Luigi Manini, and with a new ambience that finally gives this majestic place a present.
The “Café dos Teatros” is a space intended to welcome the public who come to the shows and to be a meeting place of bohemia of Lisbon. The chairs designed by the Delphim Design office and edited by the famous German brand Thonet, with tables designed by Joan Casas i Ortinez, edited by Indecasa, give the space the aura and memory of the past in a modern environment.
The conservatory is furnished with modern furnishings with Impala chairs, Oslo high stools, Tuscan tables designed by Joan Casas i Ortinez for Indecasa.
In the back of the room, the fantastic panel “Neptuno” Fascist by the designer Luigi Manini, who was also the author of Quinta da Regaleira Palace and Hotel do Buçaco.