Soon to be home to: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Richard D’Oly Carte, producer of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, commissioned the theatre in the late 1880s. It was designed by Thomas Edward Collcutt and intended to be a home of English grand opera. The theatre opened as the “Royal English Opera House” in January 1891 with a lavish production of Arthur Sullivan’s opera Ivanhoe. Carts then leased the theatre to Sarah Bernhardt for a season and sold the opera house within a year at a loss. It was then converted into a grand music hall and renamed the Palace Theatre of Varieties, managed successfully by Charles Morton. In 1897, the theatre began to screen films as part of its programme of entertainment. In 1904, Alfred Butt became manager and continued to combine variety entertainment, including dancing girls, with films.