Built by architect Paul Perrin between 1918 and 1920, the Alhambra occupies a significant place in Geneva's architectural heritage. Designated as an historical monument in 1996, it stands between the upper and lower parts of the city. It was one of the first buildings in which both live shows and films could be presented.
Initially called the Omnia cinematographic theater (a name still visible above the entrance), the Alhambra was described as « the most beautiful house of animated images in Switzerland » and the equipment for the country's first sound movies was installed there in 1928. It is one of the last theaters whose historical, cultural and esthetic value is recognized today. It is also a place where people can meet in a part of the city that has long been uninhabited.
Saved from demolition by popular vote in 1995, the Alhambra needed lots of work to improve its capacity to welcome the public and performing artists and to produce more and a greater variety of shows. After a long process of reflexion in close collaboration with the city's cultural milieus, it was decided to convert the building into a concert hall for amplified concerts, thus making up for the scarcity of suitable venues in Geneva. One challenge was to reconcile the Alhambra's aspects as an historical monument with the requirements of a contemporary concert hall. The hall has been entirely renovated and can now accommodate 750 people.
Mobile flooring now allows it to be arranged in three different constellations: a hall whose public is seated either in the stalls or in one of two balconies; one in which armchairs mounted on rails can be slid under the stage, thus providing standing room space for receptions; and a cabaret-style hall in which the floor is raised to stage height, making the whole area including the set available.
The hall has been entirely renovated and adapted to up-to-date techniques. Artist Carmen Perrin has created a color concept consisting of horizontal bands of metallic paint repeated from ceiling to floor and shading from gold through silver to gray and black, thus forming a color spectrum that evokes the presence of reflected light. The projection room has been preserved with its original projectors, so that the building may continue to play its role as a movie theater. It is equipped to receive installations for digital diffusion. A lift allowing people with reduced mobility to access the first and second floors, and a second reception area on the second floor, above the space set aside for the Alhambar cafe-restaurant, are now in place.
The Alhambra has gone through various transformations over the years. Renovated with care according to the rules of the book and adapted to the contingencies of a contemporary concert hall, it offers a setting in which public and artists will be welcomed in excellent conditions.
During the Alhambra renovations, the City of Geneva organized several information sessions intended for regular users.
Eleven users interested in deepening their involvement in the life of the building formed a not-for-profit association named AdudA [Association des utilisateurs de l'Alhambra] in order to apply for the post, opened by the City of Geneva, of coordinator of the building's artistic activities, and to present a candidate chosen by their general assembly.
The AdudA has organized the post of “general coordination” in two parts so as to optimize the building management and to fulfill its mission as fully as possible.
Karin Strescher / Coordination - communication
François Tschumy / Administration - accounting
The AdudA is a member of Petzi
Sandro Rossetti / president Philippe Clerc / treasurer Roland Le Blévennec / secretary Sylvie Pasche, Priscille Alber/ Membre
To become a member of the Alhambra Users Association (AdudA), an association must make known its intention a month in advance of the AdudA general assembly, organized annually and announced on this site. It should pay a membership fee of CHF 100.- at the assembly.
Becoming an AdUDA member does not garantuee anything in relation to the booking of the venue. Contact : firstname.lastname@example.org