National Theater opening delayed

Delivery of the National Theater has been postponed until March 2019 due to manufacturing of key parts required for the operation of the building.

The delivery of the National Theater , which was scheduled for January 2019,  has been postponed to March 2019 due to manufacturing problems regarding  the new  "scenic box" and other "theatrical mechanics".

According to Janelle Davidson, director of the entity, the ultimate goal is not only the recovery and reopening of the National Theater building as historical heritage, but that the  property - located in the corregimiento of San Felipe - meet all the technical requirements demanded by the national and international artistic community thus guaranteeing  the best shows.

This property has been closed since June 2015, on the recommendation of institutions such as the Panama Fire Department and the Technological University of Panama, due to structural problems in the slab, ceilings and walls.

According to the INAC, the concrete slab on the roof has been replaced in its entirety, as well as the grid that will sustain all the scenic mechanics. Likewise, the stage floor has been changed and an elevator has been added to the structure.

 Katti Osorio, representative in Panama of the International Council of Monuments and Sites (Icomos, for its acronym in English), said that the National Theater, is the top stage that national artists aspire to appear on.

"Surely, many expected to see our theater open in the framework of WYD. It is regrettable that the work has been extended for so long without a clear explanation for the delay, " added the representative of Icomos in Panama.

 Osorio stressed that the delay will not increase costs over the budget available. Renovations to the building which opened in 1908, amount to approximately 15 million dollars.