Theaters and cinemas
Through its work, the J.K. Tyl Theatre, continues the long tradition of theatre in the city. The first play in Pilsen was performed there in 1759. In 1902 the city built a new theatre, designed by architect Antonin Balšánek. The building, in Neo-Renaissance style with rich artistic decoration, is one of the city’s architectural jewels. Four theatre companies include in their programme opera, drama, ballet, operetta as well as musicals. The Tyl Theatre has two permanent venues – The Grand Theatre and Chamber Theatre, the latter focused mainly on drama. Since 1993, the two locations have hosted the “Divadlo” international theatre festival, which has attracted renowned international ensembles to the local stage.
The long and glorious tradition of puppetry is just as much a part of Pilsen as its popular golden brew. Looking into the past, one cannot forget the names of famous puppeteers Karel Novák, Josef Skupa and Jiři Trnka, all of whom are closely associated with the West Bohemian metropolis. The Alfa Theatre is based on this puppet tradition and continues the tradition of the first professional puppet theatre in the former Czechoslovakia – the Pilsen puppet theatre of Professor Skupa as well as the Children’s Theatre, which operated from 1966 in a historic building on today’s Americká avenue. Today, The Alfa Theatre offers performances to audiences of all generations. A wide range of performances begins with classic fairy tales and ends with the poetry of Jacques Prévert. The 15-member group prefers a comedy theatre concept, which provides an unusual form of entertainment to audiences both at home and abroad.
Divadlo Dialog (formerly the Pilsen amateur stage) currently brings together 13 theatre companies that are focused mainly on drama. It operates its own permanent stage - Divadlo Dialog (Klatovská 7, visitors’ entrance at Smetanovy sady 9, Pilsen). During the many years of its existence, the ensemble has prepared dozens of performances. The prestige of the theatre at European level was proven by their production of Flew, which has been selected as the Czech Republic’s representative for the European festival in Paderborn, Germany.
The Divadlo pod lampou (Theatre below the Lamp) was founded as a live music venue in 1990 within the framework of the programmes of the Municipal Cultural Centre. Its establishment was a response to the need for space for non-commercial cultural activities in music, film, and theatre, but especially to give exposure to emerging music groups, lesser-known genres of music, alternative culture and activities related to this type of culture. In a short time it managed to build a club that earned and still maintains a great reputation all over the country.
The oldest amateur puppet theatre in Pilsen (founded in 1923 and in operation to this day). It offers a programme especially for preschoolers. In addition to fairy tales by known Czech writers, it stages performances of works from its own repertoire. The group regularly attends meetings of puppeteers at shows and festivals, and organizes tours to attend performances throughout the country and abroad.
The V Boudě Theatre is an amateur puppet ensemble that has been operating in Pilsen since its inception in 1928. The regular productions of this theatre are intended for the youngest of audiences – children of preschool age. Apart from classical productions, it also offers differently conceived, innovative performances – diverse in the use of different types of puppets, various theatrical space and various staging approaches.