Melbourne’s iconic Princess Theatre is regarded by many as Melbourne’s most spectacular landmark.
About Princess Theatre
There has been a theatre on this site since the days of the Victorian Gold Rush and the Princess Theatre has hosted some of the biggest shows and international stars to hit Australian shores. Lawrence Olivier and Vivien Leigh trod these boards. It has hosted the antipodean premieres of “Kismet,” “The King and I,” and “The Sound of Music,” while those shows were still in their first Broadway seasons. The inimitable Marlene Dietrich, Carol Channing, and Danny Le Rue have all performed on this stage. The current theatre (which seats over 1450 people) dates back to 1886 and was refurbished in 1989 for the blockbuster shows of the day, “Les Miserables” and “The Phantom of the Opera.” Upgraded again in 2018 (new seats, new carpet, new paint job and several kilograms of 24-carat gold on the rooftop angel and lions), the Princess is the only theatre in the Australia in which you can see “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.”
- Fun Facts About the Princess Theatre
- The old Princess of 1886 featured a retractable roof and ceiling — a world first.
- In the 1930s, The Princess housed a film studio and Melbourne radio station 3XY — both owned by impresario Frank Thring, who had his initials carved at the peak of the proscenium arch.
- When the theatre was renovated in the 1980s, over 2000 paint samples were collected in order to match the colour scheme with that of the last major overhaul in 1922.
- The Princess has a ghost: that of the actor Frederick Federici, who, the story goes, died on stage at the climax of Gounod’s “Faust” in 1888. The theatre has a tradition of reserving a seat for Federici on every opening night.
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Transportation & Parking
Patrons of the Princess Theatre can avail of preferred parking rates at the nearby Wilson Parking, Parkade, 34-60 Little Collins Street, Melbourne.