Ladies and gentlemen, go to the dance
Until 1850 the Cortes did not have a stable headquarters. Convents, theaters and churches, chosen primarily for their acoustics, were alternated as temporary places where their lordships debated the politics of the moment. That was where the speeches of the speakers could best be heard. It is on June 22, 1841 when the Congress of Deputies moves from the then dilapidated convent of the Holy Spirit, where the Palace of the Cortes will be raised, to the Ballroom of the Royal Theater, which as its name indicates was ornamented as a place meant to be a dance venue required. His lordships did not require so much pageantry or ornament, but a greater seriousness in the decoration that there was no need for mirrors or bronzes, perhaps to give a greater solemnity to the place. According to the writer and writer Gaspar Gómez de la Serna in 1971 in "The Spanish Cortes" the Ballroom had a rectangular plant closed with high vault, which was enabled "hastily for session room, from the spring of 1841 remaining as such until 1850, year in which it was concluded, in addition to the same Teatro de Oriente, the current Palace of the Cortes ".
This explains the reconditioning of the headquarters in a more serious place: "Little is remembered of the conditioning of the East Room, except that to reinforce the gravity of the place at first the mirrors were covered with gauze and the president's table was initially placed in the front part corresponding to the facade of the Plaza de Isabel II ". It was not until 1843 that the appearance of the living room and that of the adjoining offices improved considerably. The presidency was then placed in the northern part of the room and the facilities and furniture for the comfort and work of the deputies were improved.
Nicolás Pérez-Serrano Jáuregui collected many of these details in the monograph entitled "In a place of the Cortes ... The Congress: transhumance, nomadism and exile until achieving a fixed headquarters in Madrid in 1850" where he reviews the different locations of the institution and dedicates a chapter to the Theater of Los Caños del Peral or Oriente: "... Being the largest building of the first half of the nineteenth century, the Royal Theater served as a Ballroom, barracks of the Civil Guard and space for meeting of the deputies. The large number of rooms around the theater allowed this, especially the circus classroom that overlooks the Opera Square and served until recently for the concerts of the students of the Conservatory ... ".
Thirteen were the presidents of the Chamber who exercised their functions, from Agustín Argüelles to Luis Mayans, under the protection of the Constitution of 1837 and 1845, which was elaborated in the Teatro de Oriente. Although the solemn sessions, as the oath of the Constitution of Queen Elizabeth II, in November 1843, was held in the Senate palace, during that almost decade their lordships debated and approved in the Ballroom 54 laws, including the official creation of the Civil Guard, "a special force of armed force of Infantry and Cavalry", as well as the Electoral Law that regulates the election of disputed s Cortes for the elections held on December 6, 1846.
It will be on October 31, 1850, with Isabel II as monarch, when the new palace of the Carrera de San Jerónimo was inaugurated for the legislature from 1850 to 1851. A short time later, on November 19, the curtain of the Teatro Real would rise , making the ephemeris coincide with the saint of the sovereign Isabel II.