His Majesty's Theatre

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History


Since opening on Christmas Eve in 1904, His Majesty's Theatre has become one of Western Australia's most-loved heritage icons.

A stunning example of Edwardian era architecture, the building is the design masterpiece of architect William Wolfe and contractor Gustav Liebe, who constructed the theatre for Perth businessman and one-time Lord Mayor of Perth, Thomas G Molloy. 

Built during the Gold Rush boom of the early 20th Century at a cost of 42,000 pounds, His Majesty's Theatre and its adjoining hotel took around two years to complete.

Borrowing architectural elements from the 19th Century theatres of England and Europe, this magnificent creation was described in the theatre's opening night programme as "among the finest of its kind in the Commonwealth".

One of the theatre's most impressive features at the time was the dome roof, which was designed to improve ventilation in the auditorium. The dome slid open sideways so that on a typically warm summer evening, the audience could benefit from the cooling effects of the open roof.

His Majesty's Theatre was named after the reigning British monarch of 1904, King Edward VII. It is believed to be the only remaining working Edwardian theatre in Australia, and is one of only two remaining His Majesty's Theatre's in the world.


Refurbishment of His Majesty's Theatre 1978-1980 

From 1904 to the late 1970's, His Majesty's Theatre in Perth was privately owned by a succession of entrepreneurs.

When the Western Australian government purchased the building in 1977, the Theatre was in much need of major structural improvements. It took two years and over $11 million to refurbish and restore the building to the modern, yet aesthetically traditional facility it is today.

During the refurbishment, the magnificent marble staircase was carefully relocated from the stalls entrance to the western end of the stalls foyer, and the dome roof, which once opened to improve ventilation within the auditorium, was permanently sealed.

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