We have visited this theatre a few times now and on this occasion we booked tickets for the Ken Dodd Happiness show which was brilliant. Ken had some other supporting acts and... read more
The Princess Theatre first opened it’s doors on Wednesday 7 June 1961. Top...
The Princess Theatre first opened it’s doors on Wednesday 7 June 1961. Top of the bill on the opening night were the late, great Tommy Cooper and the legendary Morecombe and Wise.The theatre was built by Torbay Council as the main feature of the redevelopment of the Princess Gardens area on Torquay seafront. The theatre replaced a marquee which was erected annually to house light entertainment.
The theatre is located on the seafront and boasts panoramic views across Torbay where, weather permitting, you can see the towns of Brixham & Paignton.
The theatre is still council owned and was originally lease managed to Apollo Leisure in 1991. Apollo Leisure was then bought out by SFX, which was then acquired by Clear Channel Entertainment. In 2005 Clear Channel span off the entertainment arm of its business and Live Nation was born. In 2009 Live Nation put their theatre division up for sale and at the end of the year a successful sale went through with the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG). ATG are the current managers of the theatre. The Princess Theatre is Torbay’s largest touring venue with a seating capacity of 1,491.
The theatre is a touring house only and has a variety of independent production companies visiting the theatre. It has played host to a wide variety of entertainment, including opera, ballet, concerts, wrestling, comedy, pantomime, ice shows & West End musicals.
Theatres in seaside resorts are traditionally known for their annual Summer Season consisting of light entertainment and family variety shows, and Torquay is no exception. In the past the Princess Theatre saw the Summer Season lasting 22 weeks of the year and artistes such as Jim Davidson, Jethro and Jimmy Cricket to name but a few, made regular appearances. Today, the Summer Season is a somewhat shorter affair and realistically lasts about 6 weeks. A traditional summer line up can still be found in our programming with one night shows making up the summer diary.
Although the Summer Season was historically the main focal point of the diary it is not the case today. There is no longer an “in season” time frame and we have regular visits throughout the year with West End musicals, such as Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Chicago, Starlight Express, Rocky Horror, CATS, Sunny Afternoon and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as well as concerts, comedians, mediums and finishing the year with a traditional pantomime. . The theatre stages and supports local amateur societies with their performances and endures in the local community, like hosting our award-winning 'Natvitys'.
In 1998 an extension was built onto the side of the theatre to house Breezes cafe bar, which is open to public throughout the year, irrespective of any ‘dark’ period in the theatre. Breezes caters for all; locals & tourists as well as patrons of the theatre. When the theatre is open for a show Breezes’ two bars work alongside the Princess Theatre bar to ensure no customer goes without! The top of Breezes also has a function suite, which can be used for meetings, press functions, parties and private hire. The view from the function suite and upper deck is fabulous, as it is the best viewing point in which to see the full splendour of Torbay.