Egmont Hall Cinema
Xatt l-Assedju l-Kbir 1565,
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Fort St. Angelo, in Birgu, Malta, is located at the centre of the Grand Harbour (on the opposite shore to Valletta). It was originally built in the medieval period as Castrum Maris (“The Castle by the Sea”) but was rebuilt by the Order of Saint John, between the 1530’s and the 1560’s, as a bastioned fort, and renamed Fort St. Angelo. A major reconstruction, to designs by Carlos de Grunenbergh, took place in the 1690’s, giving the fort its current appearance.
Fort St. Angelo was garrisoned by the British from 1800 to 1979, at times being classified as a ‘stone frigate’ known as HMS Egmont or, later, HMS St Angelo. It suffered considerable damage during World War II, but was later restored. In 1998, the upper part of the fort was handed to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
The site includes Egmont Hall, which served as a cinema and theatre for the British troops, and is now available for hire for a wide variety of events, from concerts to plays to lectures, seminars and conferences as well as dinners and parties. Today, it can accommodate 150 seated theatre-style (the seating capacity in its cinema days is not known).
Although the projection box remains in situ, it has been cleared out and is currently not in use. But the portholes remain, as a reminder of the hall’s previous use.
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