Lutrario:
cinema and dance hall

Text by Valeria Montemagni

Its history begins in 1926 when the young Attilio Lutrario, the entertainment entrepreneur lived in the U.S., opened a summer ballroom and a makeshift movie theatre in a former working men's club adjacent to the railway small station of Porta Dora. Early works are entrusted to the bulgarian architect and artist Nicolai Diulgheroff who transformed the docks Dora into the "Plateau Dansant" Lutrario.
The original state has been constantly adjusted by the inspiration of the moment. Stage sets were often assembled and disassembled to vary the environment as a giant "barracani", lamps of Aladin, ships built by the same customers, and even a "futuristic garden Dora."(1)The summer dance floor checkered whites and blacks suggested to Lutrario, who had lived in America when he was a child, the name "Blechenduait", written in a italian way.
In a lot occupied by a villa with garden, on the other side of Via Stradella, Lutrario built a movie theater entrusting the project to N. Diulgheroff and Alberto Bordogna. So, in 1941, the cinema Lutrario has been inaugurated, in "tardorazionaliste" forms with the original convex facade designed by N. Diulgheroff to optically correct the profile curve of the road. The remaining area of the villa has been rented to the Brothers Bosio who later built a shed used as a workshop where the neighbouring wall will not be enough to insulate the room and the cinema from the noise. In addition the old after office dance hall facing the rail, held by the management Lutrario, is no longer able to contain an ever growing public.
Thus, after the acquisition of a land occupied by a scrap dealer, the "ferramiu" Gatti, owner of a horse and mule Gilda, always fascinated by the ballroom business, he decided to venture into building a new dancing.(2)
The surface of the lot has an irregular shape and is accessed from via Stratford through the lane that runs Guild: the current winding access corridor of the ballroom of Le Roi-Lutrario.
Bordogna, which the  job was confirmed, extends rigidly the space distribution exploiting the double height of the existing factory, but hangs when he has to go down the ladder of fixed furniture.

 He then suggested to Lutrario the name of Carlo Mollino which could take care of a part of the project, including furnishings, except for the mural project and the calculation of the structures that remained of Bordogna's competence. The official task has given to Mollino in April 1959,(3) about twenty million italian lyre compensation, while the opening of the dancing took place after eighteen months of construction, in November of 1960 with the name of Lutrario Le Roi, as designed by the family friend painter Otto Maraini, who imagined drawn with a thick rope from the boat.
In 1963, the entrance of Via Stradella was modified with the extension of a door surmounted  by the inscription Le Roi.(4)

1. Biffi Gentili, Francesca Comisso, Luisa Perlo, “Eccentricity, arti applicate a Torino 1945-1968 ”
2. Fulvio Ferrari, “Cose dell’ altro mondo”, Case da Abitare 62, novembre 2002
3. AECT 1959, 696- Icat
4. AECT 1963, 461 n4- IIcat