At the beginning of the 20th century, the place that now houses the Auditorium of Milan, stood a countryside local movie theater. The first news about the "Cinema Montagnetta" appeared in the 20’; the hall had 2000 seats. With the advent of sound film, the "Cinema Montagnetta" adapted its activites to the new course, reducing the number of seats, changing names and management, becoming "Cinema Gottardo”, taking the name from the street where it was located.
With the first spoken visions and movies, it extendet its activites, remaining, however, a peripheral cinema of Milan. In 1936, in order to bring more prestige and to give a new architectural imprint to the cinema, the italian architect Alessandro Rimini starded a new restyling project: the “Società Anonima Immobiliare Rione San Gottardo” commissioned to him a huge restoration of the cinema main hall and, at the same time, a new design for commercial spaces and new houses. The neighborhood was facing a new and slow modernizing revolution.
The "Cinema Teatro Massimo" opened October 20, 1938 with the screening of the italian movie “Hanno rapito un uomo” (A man has been kidnapped) maintaining its function even during the II World War the postwar economic boom up to 70 years' offering popular movies, italian comedies, Spaghetti westerns and adventure Hollywood films. However, managing such a large Cinema without first important premieres led to a closure. In 1979 he became the studio for television programs until the 90s: thanks to entrepreneur Agostino Liuni, the Marzorati Architecture Studio carried out a renovation project. It was completed in 1999.
The hall, fully redesigned as a multifunctional space can be used for different activities, from concerts of symphonic, choral and chamber music, jazz and popular music up to the screenings of films on the big screen. On October 6, 1999 it was officially inaugurated with the Symphony no. 2 "Resurrection" by Mahler conducted by Riccardo Chailly becoming the new permanent home of the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi.