The oldest and most beautiful theater in Mérida is named after José Peón Contreras, immortal poet, novelist, dramatist, essayist, physician, and politician of Yucatán, born in Mérida in 1843 and died in México, D.F. in 1907. His death was just one year before the theater was inaugurated in his name.
Inspired in the neoclassic French style, the theater was inaugurated on Dec. 21, 1908. The building was under the care of architect Pío Piacentini, technical direction was by architect Enrico Desserti, the painting of the dome was done by Nicolás Allegretti, and the European façade was the work of Fernando Ceicola. In December 2008 the theater celebrated 100 years.
The theater and its façade are similar to the grand European theaters of that era. In the center of the dome is a hanging chandelier of a spider whose arms are of iridescent cut crystal. The arch of the stage has lateral columns of Corinthian order, with variations required by the construction of the building, and materials from this region and abroad, with a richly decorated interior full of space and majesty.
Outstanding national and international plays and artists have performed on its stage over the years, including: Ofelia Guilman, Carmen Montejo, Marga López, Angélica María, Facundo Cabral, Alberto Cortés, Guadalupe Pineda, Tania Libertad, Eugenia León, Armando Manzanero, the Marionettes of Japan, the National Ballet of Russia, the Ballet of Kiev, and the String Group of Tiépolo. Nowadays the theater is the headquarters of the Yucatán Symphony Orchestra.
The José Peón Contreras theater is the most important cultural center of the Cultural Institute of Yucatán, with its own galleries where the most outstanding artists exhibit their work. There is also a tourist information module and a cultural information module in the lobby.
Teatro José Peón Contreras
Calle 60 x 59 y 57, Centro.
Tels. 924 3954 and 924 3843