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Bolshoi Theater Will Close For Restoration

February 3, 1987

MOSCOW (AP) _ Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater will close early this summer for the first stage of a 2 1/2 -year reconstruction project.

The newspaper Moskovskaya Pravda said Tuesday that the project will repair and expand the theater’s facilities while preserving its appearance.

The Bolshoi, whose eight-column facade is a Moscow landmark, houses an orchestra and opera and ballet companies. The ballet company is one of the finest in the world.

Moskovskaya Pravda said the theater would close for about six months this year, reopen for a short time and then close again for two years of repairs. The article did not give specific dates.

It said that during reconstruction, performances of the Bolshoi companies would be staged at the nearby Theater of the Operetta.

The present Bolshoi Theater was built in 1856 in central Moscow. It has been rebuilt several times, including major repairs of bomb damage after World War II.

Plans call for installing computerized stage lights, a rotating stage, repairs of a suspended ceiling, and restoring the orchestra pit. Cracks in the eight exterior columns will be fixed, and five layers of paint will be removed.

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