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.
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.
today the Mastellone family carries on the activity of Vincenzo
s grandfather with the help of Maurizio, Luigis 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 didnt 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.
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.