Oulu City Theatre

Oulu City Theatre

Oulu City Theatre is located on the island of Vänmanninsaari in the estuary of the Oulu River, close to the commercial centre of the city and just beside the Market Place. There is also a bridge connecting it to another island housing the idyllic artistic community of Pikisaari. Since the theatre is somewhat larger than the island on which it stands, part of it is built out over the water.

Designed by the architects Marjatta and Martti Jaatinen, the theatre building was completed in 1972. It then underwent thorough renovation in 2002-2004, in the course of which an extension was added that has increased the space available by about a third. Its total floor area is now 13,900 m2 and its volume 71,100 m3.

The building contains three auditoria, with approximate sizes of 440 m2 (seating for 527 persons), 225 m2 (100-214 persons) and 165 m2 (65 persons). There is also a rehearsal room of about 375 m2, in which seating can be arranged for some 100-150 persons.

The technical equipment in the building was fully renewed and modernized in connection with the renovation work, and the large stage now has several lifting devices and a movable horizontally operating curtain. The lighting system enables the desired lighting effects to be produced in any part of the stage, and the battery of 46 permanent loudspeakers corresponds to the sound reproduction demands of a fairly large-scale rock concert.

The communications and security systems include telephone lines, computer connections, antennae, general sound reproduction, timers, access control and fire and burglar alarm systems. There is a camera surveillance system both inside and outside the theatre building, and events on the stages in the various auditoria can be relayed throughout the building in real time on closed-circuit TV. The stages all have induction loops for users of hearing aids.

The comprehensive panOulu WLAN network provides for easy wireless Internet and e-mail connections in all parts of the theatre building by means of a laptop computer or communicator.

Lobby and restaurant space amounts to some 1.580 m2, distributed between four floors, with total seating for over 300 people. The main theatre restaurant commands magnificent views over Pikisaari, towards the city and out to sea, and its à la carte menu offers everything from warm sandwiches to a full three or four-course dinner. This restaurant has places for about a hundred guests, and more dining space can be made in the general concourse as required.  

The theatre equipment is operated by the building’s own highly skilled technical staff, and the restaurant is in the capable hands of a first-class chef. Other services are also available as required.

History of Oulu City Theatre
1931 Oulu Näyttämö (Oulu Stage) is established
1951 The theatre’s name is changed to Oulun Teatteri (Oulu Theatre)
1965 The municipal Oulu City Theatre is established, performances are held at the building that is now the City Hall.
1972 Theatre hall designed by Marjatta and Martti Jaatinen is constructed.
2002-04 The old theatre hall is renovated and new extension constructed. During this time the main stage of Oulu City Theatre is at Teatria, former Atria meat packing facilities in Limingantulli. Performances are held also at Cultural Centre Valve, restaurants and other facilities specifically chosen for various productions.

Renovated theatre hall
Architect Sampo Valjus was in charge of planning the renovation of the old theatre hall and the new extension.
The renovated theatre hall facilities:
    - Main stage (527 seats)
    - Small stage (132-216 seats)
    - Vinttikamari (Studio) (max 100 seats)
    - Rehearsal stage (100-200 seats)
    - New Theatre Restaurant (with approximately 100 seats)
    - Other facilities for theatregoers include the Main and Small stage foyers,
      the Cabinet, the actors’ foyers etc.

Annually in Oulu City Theatre there are
- 6 - 8 premieres
- around 350 - 400 performances with roughly 80.000 spectators
- an opera production and other musical theatre productions
- theatre productions for children
- Oulu Children’s Theatre Festival
- new domestic and foreign premieres

The theatre employs
-    20-30 actors and around 10 other
  members of artistic staff.
-    In addition, there are guest musicians,  dancers and extras, especially in musical theatre productions
-    around 15 people working in stage property room and wardrobe
-    around 30 technical stage workers in rehearsals and performances
-    around 15 employees in the theatre office, centre, ticket office and usher duties