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Piazza S. Antonino, - 80067 Sorrento (Na) - Italy -
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The Cinema Theatre “Tasso”, located in the ancient convent of the Teatini Fathers in the Public Square of S.Antonino, today seat of the Town Hall,  has been reopened in Sorrento, after more than a decade of closings and restructures. Here, in 1920 there were the first showings in the peninsula of Sorrento; at that time the theatre was called " Sala Tassiana", but during the summer, the showings were kept in the open air, in the area behind the big conventual building that was at that time the garden of the Teatini.

The showings, as one can realize, were also theatrical; the first summer lyric season goes back to 1921 (of it still exists a locandina), and it was organized from the gentlemen Massa, Mastellone and Russo, the  true entrepreneurs in the field of the shows. The first showings  go back go the age of the dumb-show. In that period the showing apparatus worked manually and the dumb films were accompanied at the piano by the Master Gennaro D' Esposito, father of Blank D' Esposito, the author of the famous song Anema e Core, and at the violin by the Master Antonino De Lists, both coming from Sorrento. In 1933, with an official agreement, the Local Tourist Organization of Sorrento entrusted  Antonino Casola, Luigi Cozzolino and Vincenzo Mastellone with the management of the theatre. The contract was stipulated and recorded on May 5th 1933 with the number 194;  it previewed among other things the use of cinematographic floodlights of the best Marks: Zeiss, Ikon, Imperial, Nitzsche and Siemens. Podestà of that period and mediator of the agreement was the young and dynamic Conte Francesco Garzilli, to whom the Capasso Centre has recently dedicated an interesting volume. As the years went by only manager of the shows of the theatre remained Vincenzo Mastellone, who was later replaced from his son Luigi.

Still today the Mastellone family carries on  the activity of Vincenzo’ s grandfather with the help of Maurizio, Luigi’s son. Worthy personage the  famous Vincenzo Mastellone. He was born in Sorrento in 1881 where he also died in 1956. As main working Activity he was porter at  the Grand Hotel Vittoria, but he also invented a car rental service that had a great success  not only between the sorrentini but above all between the travellers who visited Sorrento, who didn’t get caught yet in the Gran Turismo coaches. He rented luxurious cars and of considerable makes: Scad, Lancia and Fiat.The theatrical entreprise was therefore for Vincenzo a secondary activity and developed sure for personal passion and cultural interest. Luigi Mastellone, also called Gigetto, has been a worthy follower of the activity of his father Vincenzo. He increased the activity of theTasso Theatre. Among  other things he eliminated the old boxes and created some  two floor boxes more functional to the needs of the public. The Engineer AmerigoGargiulo was entrusted with the restructure. The same Luigi Mastellone, in the Sixties  availing himself of the architect Gaetano Mascolo and of the engineer Antonino Cesaro, still restructured the theatre and equipped it with a definitive cover (previously was covered with an awning ). Many structures and reminiscences of the past, some of which go back ones to the ancient monastic function , unfortunately were cancelled.

Today, finally, thanks to the forsightedness of Maurizio Mastellone, which  continues the work of his grandfather Vincenzo and of his father Gigetto, and thanks to the other sorrentino Nicola Astarita (grandson of Cesare Astarita, who was for years camera-man at the "Tasso"), also the Cinema Theatre Tasso  has been given back to the town. Today it has a capacity of 310 sits in the pit and 150 in the gallery, it has re-gained some of the structures of the Teatin monastery. The original architecture dates back to 1608. The walls have been restored thanks to the so-called "cuci e scuci" old and very skillful masters.



Copyright   2004 Teatro Tasso