The Throne Room temporarily leaves the Caixa Escènica del Teatre Metropol for security reasons. As El Diari has learned, the Councilor for Culture of the Tarragona City Council –Inés Solé (CUP)– notified those responsible for the company from Tarragona on Wednesday that they must immediately leave the space on Calle Armanyà that they have occupied for four years, after receiving a municipal technical report indicating that the site “does not meet the necessary characteristics to guarantee the safety of both users and workers”, so “currently the activity cannot be carried out until it obtains the corresponding legalization” .
According to the sources consulted, there are two main deficits that the facility presents in order to have a report that guarantees that the site has the security measures required in the activity license: the non-adaptation of the emergency exit to the regulations in force, as well as the need to obtain a favorable report from the Fire Department. It should be noted that the Metropol has had an activity license since June 1993. Despite this, when making a substantial modification for public access to part of the site – the stage area – it is necessary to guarantee safety conditions.
As a result of the communication of this past Wednesday by the mayor of Culture, the entity led by the actor Joan Negrié already carried out the premiere of the work Les bones intentions last night in the main theater of the modernist venue, at the that yesterday the attendees accessed from Armanyà street. According to the sources consulted, the Throne – which will end the spring season with eight more performances until May 29, two of them between today and tomorrow – will use the main piece of the Metropol sine die until the administrative situation is resolved from the back of the cultural facility.
“Without the minimum conditions”
In the analysis carried out by the Department of Industrial Engineering, to which this newspaper has had access, it is emphasized that the activity adapted in the Caixa Escènica for the Sala Trono “is not legalized” and “does not meet the minimum security conditions that are established in the current regulations. For this reason, in their report, the municipal technicians indicate that there are three aspects that must be processed to regularize the use.
The first of these is “to have a technical project justifying the current regulations”. Another step to take will be to receive a favorable report from the Directorate General for Prevention, Fire Extinction and Salvage in fire prevention aspects. Already with these two requirements, it will be necessary to check the actions “by means of a technical certificate and the verification act”. Likewise, in its wording, the technicians warn that “given the characteristics of the space, it is possible that the economic cost of the works to be carried out to adapt it to the planned activity makes its realization totally unfeasible.”
The Councilor for Culture, Inés Solé, affirms that the Consistory “makes the decision based on a reliable technical report” which, she considers, “should have been requested from the beginning”, while regretting “having received an inheritance from previous governments with the cultural facilities in a very serious state”, which according to the mayor cupaire is due to the fact that “investments depended on sales of heritage that never arrived”.
Now, Solé emphasizes that the municipal cabinet has already put all the machinery to work to regularize the situation. “We know that the Bombers take two months to come and check. For this reason, we have already asked for an hour. We do not want anything to administratively delay the process », he indicates, while criticizing the « apathy » of the previous socialist government of Mayor Ballesteros.
Precisely, the municipal group of the PSCha asked during this mandate up to four times in the municipal plenary about the state of the Caixa Escènica. He did it on July 23, 2020, on September 9, 2021, on January 28, 2022 and on February 18. As a result of Culture’s response to the last request, the Socialists requested a status report from the technical services in which, recently, it was recognized that the space still did not have an activity license.
Four years without legalizing?
The Sala Trono has been performing at the Caixa Escènica del Teatre Metropol since February 2018, with Begoña Floria (PSC) as councilor for the sector. The presentation ceremony of the agreement, which was for three years, was held on January 11, 2018. This agreement allowed the company to go from a capacity of 50 people in the Plaça de Dames i Vells to another that has ranged from 80 and 135 on Armanyà street, where performances have been carried out on a 7 by 6 meter stage, for the 5 by 5 they had in the Part Alta.
In the appearance of Floria and Negrié 52 months ago, it was made clear that the transfer of use would end at the beginning of 2021 and that, from then on, the Throne “will have to find a new accommodation.” Despite this, and after the cultural paralysis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, on February 26 of last year the renewal of the pact between the City Council and the Throne Room was confirmed. And, in fact, this new agreement –signed by the mayor Pau Ricomà (ERC)–, already warned of the need to regularize the situation of the Caixa Escènica. Thus, in the first point of the agreement – in force until February 2024 –, it is indicated that «the City Council authorizes the Sala Trono to carry out its performing arts programming in the usual system of the Teatre Metropol. Until the corresponding activity license is available, the activity will not be able to return to the Caixa Escènica space».
15 months ago it was recognized, then, in writing, that the venue did not have all the security measures in force. Despite this, up to 117 shows have been allowed to take place at the Caixa Escènica since the signing of the agreement, some of which have even had the presence of Mayor Ricomà, as can be seen on his Twitter. “There has been no indication that users and workers have been in danger,” says councilor Inés Solé, who emphasizes that she has been trying “for some time” to advance Metropol’s security, but that “the problems that have appeared in Tarragona have delayed the execution of the report’. Despite this, she emphasizes that “in relation to other mandates, when there was no real economic allocation to maintain the theaters with dignity, I think that now we go like gazelles to fix everything that was not done in the past.”