The Chinese Theatre in the Alexander Park underwent emergency accident-prevention works to avoid a possible loss of the eighteenth-century architectural monument.
Designed by architect Antonio Rinaldi, the chinoiserie-style building burned down in the bombardment of Pushkin town (Tsarskoe Sello) on 15 September 1941 and has been standing in ruins for over eighty years. It lost the roof completely, only its walls and partially the upper floors in the side wings survived, as well as the wings' lower-level tiled floors and partially two stairs with metal railings. There are also remains of the original plaster decor on casings, cornices and capitals.
Built in 1778-79 by architect Ilya Neyelov, with considerable alterations to Rinaldi's design, the theatre of up to 350 seats had its first performance 13 June 1779. In 1908–13, the building was refurbished by the court architect Silvio Dagnini, who added two-floor side wings. An improved heating system by St Petersburg's San-Galli Factory was installed at the same time. During 1918-41 the theatre was used as a museum building.
The current emergency works lasted two years from 2021 to 2022. They were carried out by the Sphere 21st Century restoration and construction company, with support from the federal budget. The restorers de-installed and marked the surviving metal parts and decorative elements, cleaned the interior and the brickwork, installed a temporary roofing and scaffolding. That should provide a five-year conservation and give the Museum enough time to finish documentation and find finances to finalize a project designed by the Studio 44 architectural bureau turning the building into a multifunctional museum venue.