In 1959, an event took place that would leave a deep mark on the future of the old Concepción Theater, located on the corner of Barros Arana and Orompello streets. The University decided to suspend the Theater’s activities for a year in order to repair its structure, which had sustained various damages as a consequence of the 1939 earthquake.
However, the earthquake of 1960 destroyed the newly restored structures as well as those not yet repaired, rendering the premises almost completely unusable. The University determined that repairing the theater once again would be at an unaffordable cost, and therefore it was decided to close it permanently for major public events. So, Concepción saw one of its greatest architectural and cultural treasures close its doors definitively.
The loss of the Concepción Theater caused by the 1960 earthquake drew an immediate response from the University authorities, led by Rector David Stitchkin. Cultural activities would not be allowed to stop. A new physical space was needed to replace the old theater as a meeting point for music and performing arts. Thereby, the University purchased in 1962 the Central Theater, located in the Olivieri Building, opposite to Plaza Independencia, the main city square. Today, this theater is known as Teatro Universidad de Concepción (University of Concepción Theater). It was opened on January 7th, 1963, at the inauguration of the 8th Summer School. Throughout that year, the Theater hosted 25 performances and screened 24 movies, with a total audience of about 30 thousand people.
Today, the University of Concepción Theater is the most important venue for a wide range of artistic expressions, hosting about 170 varied programs annually, for an audience of more than 200 thousand people.