Palace of Culture in Lezha
The first cultural institutions started to be build in the town of Lezha around the years 1946-47: "Drini" Cinema and the House of Culture and Popular Creativeness "Manush Alimani", the name which should be born even later by the Palace of Culture. Initially the cultural and artistic activities were based almost fully in dilettantes, were simple as a start and then became in a more gradual growth of quality and became more organized, where part of the debut in the artistic activities will became teachers who were mostly from Shkodra and other areas. With the arrival in Lezha of Agim Velo in 1963, a talented musician, a new trajectory of change would be noticed in the musical life, which made possible for the eager audience to enjoy all the beauty, the elegance and the professionalism of this genre. Singers and instruments players, including the members of the Popular Orchestra, grow qualitatively and quantitatively presenting new values in the interpretation. It was during this period that the first opera "Bardha" was put in scene which was one of the major events for the town of Lezha, and a novelty which would be the starting point for the scenic art in the town.
In this time also was created a nucleus of the first comedians that would create a tradition that will not pass without its traces. But anyway all this functioned on a voluntary basis and certainly in the context of an amateur movement. To continue after that with staging small pieces in a small theater that later it will be recognized and would create its own tradition. Increasing the number of indicators and performers will bring new leaders, educated directors that would grow the performance to a more professional level. In 1968 Lezha culture would live a particular event: the "Çiftelia" ensemble was created, which later would become the artistic shelter of a generation of talented singers, musical directors, interpreters and folk singers, whose name would reach far beyond the provincial boundaries.
This ensemble little by little took national values; some members virtuously played in foreign scenes. "Çiftelia" Ensemble has taken precious assessments and medals for that set of values that it contributed. After the 70’ almost all the sectors in which the new Palace of Culture was organized would be directed by specialists prepared at the artistic schools or the Art Institute. The major sectors were:
- Sector of theater, music and interpretation;
- Sector of massive culture;
- Sector of dance and choreography.
This last one, the sector of dance and choreography, in part due to the very rich in ethnographic dances and clothing, in part to the large number of talented dancers, would soon become a sector famous in all the country. In the 1971 would be build the semi-professional puppet theatre. In the same year would start functioning also the town wind orchestra, and the theatre. This year also signed the start of fixed scheduling of the activities. Later, the regular festivals of folk music, youth talents would become a tradition.
Until the ’90 by the specialists of this Palace were staged in total:
- 8 premiers of the artistic ensemble;
- 4 premiers of the folkloric ensemble;
- 11 youth festivals;
- 22 premiers of the Estrada;
- 12 premiers of the theatre;
- 28 premiers of the puppets’ theatre;
- And more than 220 activities of the massive culture.
Naturally, the building of the new Palace of Culture in 1983 created new possibility and bigger spaces. As a consequence grew the number and the quality of the activities, thus growing the requests and the art critics’ debate. So, many singers, dancers, directors and interpreters were catapulted to the national stage. After the ’90-ies, with the coming of democracy, the Palace in new conditions continues to be the center of culture for the citizens of Lezha. Although it was difficult it has tried to keep its own place in this new dramatically transforming society.
The long experience will help to build that qualitative step, to which the new town and citizenship aims. The efforts, good will and a more concrete commitment by the part of the local government, will made the role and function of this important institution to grow proportionally with the economical and demographic growth of the town. A lot of activities, concerts, festivals, big and small events are periodically taking place in the Palace of Culture. We always want more audience, where you are always welcome.
Palace of Culture "Manush Alimani" Sheshi "Gjergj Kastrioti" Lezhe