Designed by Málaga’s civic architect Gerónimo Cuervo in the late 19th century, the Cervantes Theatre was built in imposing Neo-classical style to replace an earlier theater destroyed by fire. Its exotic interior was created by local artists Antonio Muñoz and Bernardo Ferrándiz and the theater opened in 1870 with a performance of Rossini’s opera William Tell. However, by the 1950s, the building was largely decaying and it remained in a poor state until 1984, when it was bought by the city council and restoration began.
Reopened in 1987, the interior of the Cervantes is still true to its original design, with an ornate painted ceiling and gilded detailing on the horseshoe-shaped boxes and stalls. It has a seating capacity of 1,104 and is the city’s cultural heartbeat for opera, ballet, rock and orchestral concerts, big names in jazz and flamenco performances. Subtitles in English accompany some productions. The Málaga Spanish Film Festival is held here every March.
The Cervantes Theatre is included on walking tours of Picasso’s Málaga, along with his birthplace and the fabled Picasso Museum.
The ticket office is open Tue–Fri 10am–2pm, 5pm–8.30pm; Sat 5pm–8.30pm. Ticket prices vary according to performance and level of seating. Most shows start at 7pm. The theater is in the city center, an easy walk from Plaza de la Merced. Parking is available in the underground Alcazaba parking lot.