Discover Edinburgh Things to Do in Edinburgh Theatres Kings Theatre


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Completed in 1905 by Edinburgh builder, William Stewart Cruikshank, The King's Theatre, Edinburgh opened its doors to the public in 1906 with a performance of Cinderella to mark the occasion. Pantomimes have always been an integral part of this Edinburgh Theatre for almost a century, appearing every Christmas Season.

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Various owners have managed the theatre over its 100-year history. At the outset, The King's Theatre, Edinburgh was under contract by Howard & Wyndham Theatre Company, which managed a chain of theatres around the UK. Subsequently, the Kings Theatre became the theatre company headquarters were they famously held their AGM on Christmas Eve.

Following the death of the company director in 1966, The King's Theatre was sold to The City of Edinburgh Council who managed this Edwardian venue until July 1998. Today, the operation is merged with its sister theatre, The Edinburgh Festival Theatre and managed by Festival City Theatres Trust.

Originally, the theatre had four tiers - The Stalls, Dress Circle, Family Circle and Gallery Circle with the latter being removed in the 1950s as it was regarded as uncomfortable and unsafe for patrons. This 1350 capacity venue is a classic representation of Edwardian elegance, featuring ornate interior surroundings and fine examples of stained glass above the foyers doors dating from the Edwardian period. In the mid 1980s extensive refurbishment was carried out to the interior, which was redecorated, and subsequently, new seating was installed throughout.

The King's Theatre is a bastion for traditional variety theatre and has long sustained its strong pantomime traditions. Over the years, starts such as Stanley Baxter, Rikki Fulton and Jimmy Logan were regular performers at The King's. The King's is also one of the leading theatres in Edinburgh to showcase a plethora of stage musicals and amateur operatics, particularly during the Edinburgh Festival season.