The theatre was planned by businessman Luis Galhardo, who dreamed of creating in Lisbon a space dedicated solely and exclusively to the spectacle and performance.
Luis Galhardo was not far from his goal. After acquiring, in 1921, the lands belonging to the gardens and adjacent to the Mayer Palace, the entrepreneur founded along with ten other members the Sociedade Avenida Parque. In that enclosure very close to the Avenida da Liberdade, the Maria Vitória Theater had already been built. By the time the Teatro Variedades opened, space was already in its sixth magazine. It was a success – and it seemed that the new theatre would be a success too. And it was, in fact, until the 1970s.
In 1992, the director Filipe La Féria recorded for RTP1 the program “Great Night”, a series of 26 episodes that brought together artists who distinguished themselves in Mayer Park. He wanted to make that space go back to what it was, but fate seemed to want to remain cruel. Mayer Park was abandoned, and the Variedades Theater never returned to spectacles.
The following years were sad. In 1999 the grounds of Parque Mayer were bought by the company Bragaparques, which in 2005 exchanged them with the Lisbon Municipal Council for the Feira Popular. In 2008, the municipality, under the presidency of António Costa, tried to prove in court that the exchange of land was nil, and in the following years the Business Fair / Mayer Park only generated complications.
In the end, the Chamber was left with both lands, and Bragaparques received, in October of this year, a compensation of 138 million euros.
Parque Mayer, Lisboa, Portugal