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“Though uncomfortable ... Outstanding!!”

Royal Alexandra Theatre
Ranked #25 of 532 things to do in Toronto
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: A masterpiece of beaux-arts architecture, the historic Royal Alexandra is Toronto's senior theatre and, at 101, never having been converted to any other use, the oldest continuously operating legitimate theatre in North America.The Royal Alexandra is also North America's first truly "royal" theatre - "royal" by patent from Edward VII - named with royal permission for his consort, Alexandra, a Danish princess and great-grandmother of the present queen.
Reviewed December 2, 2013

An avid theatre goer - wanted to take a moment to recommend "Once" - a stunning production in the beautiful Royal Alex!

It is an old theatre and the seating is terrifically uncomfortable - but I'm buying tickets to go again!

Thank 695Travel_girl75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 7, 2013

The Royal Alex, as this Toronto landmark is affectionately known, opened in 1907 and is a National Historic Monument. Entering the Royal Alex is like stepping back into Edwardian times. The theatre is located in the heart of Toronto's entertainment district, steps from Roy Thomspon Hall and near the Princess of Wales Theatre. There are lots of great places to eat nearby that cater to theatre show times and offer fast and efficient service. I recently saw "I Love Lucy," at the Royal Alex and enjoyed every second of the experience. True, the seats in the Royal Alex were created with very short-legged people in mind, but the sight lines are fantastic and the ambience makes up for the discomfort of spending a couple of hours with your knees at your ears! Check your coat, as there really is no room for bulky clothing and be prepared to get to know your seat-mates. Anyone who grew up watching "I Love Lucy" on television will be transfixed by this production, and even those who are too young to remember this sitcom will enjoy a funny and entertaining look at life in the fifties, complete with live musical adverts for Brill Creme and such! Spend an evening at the Royal Alexandra Theatre. You won't regret it.

Thank burtinshaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2013

hard for me to rate this. If I was to go by the beauty, the architecture, the vintage theatre ambiance, I would rate it a five. If I was to go by the comfort and ease to navigate the seating in the theatre, I would give it a one. I was thoroughly enjoying the production 'I love Lucy', so I sat "sidesaddle" in the seat and was uncomfortable the entire time. If it would have been a play or musical that I didn't particularly like, I most certainly would have left.

Thank Toronto-Retiree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2013

The Royal Alex needs to be updated to 21st century standards. The seats are not only tightly placed together, some seat don't have any leg room at all; not even a child could fit. We sat on the upper balcony this time and reserved an aisle seat. When we got there, that seat was so tight, once you put the seat down there was maybe 2-3 inches of leg room, if that. They shouldn't even sell seats like that. I wouldn't sit in it for free.

Thankfully we were moved to other seats, which by the way weren't much better, but at least I could spread my legs to each side because the other seats were free and I could stand up since no one was behind me. If it had been a full house, I would have left. When I complained and asked to be moved, while they were accommodating, they did first ask me how much I paid for the seat. I think that's insulting at best since it wasn't a matter of my not liking the view but rather that the seat wasn't fit for humans. And also, I got the ticket through a travelzoo special and so it was largely on sale. The full price of the ticket was higher anyway so I think that was an irrelevant question to ask.

Plus, I don't think seat prices should reflect the seat size. It should reflect the distance from the stage and nothing more. It's like saying if you pay less for a seat you should be packed into the space like mistreated animals. That's just inhumane. The only way I would go to the Royal Alex is if I am sitting in the front row or in a box. Otherwise it's barbaric.

Plus, for most of the duration of the play it was too hot. I saw people fanning themselves with the program.

Anyway, I think it's time they revamp this theatre and make it appropriate for people's sizes in this century. Maybe 100 years ago people were shorter and smaller. I am thin and tall so at least width-wise it was somewhat manageable, but good luck to people who are more plus sized.

While it's not an issue of mine, if someone is afraid of heights, don't sit in the balcony as it is very steep. Plus, I don't believe they have an elevator, so keep that in mind.

2  Thank GourmetFoodie3333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2013

I was at the theatre for the first time to see I Love Lucy (fabulous show) We sat in orchestra row M. The view from this area was great. We could see everything going on o stage. The problem is the seating. I am only 5'5 and a fairly petite person. I had very little leg room and filled my seat quite comfortable. My husband is more muscular and barely fit into the seats, his legs touched the seats in front of him and he could not get comfortable. If you are on the larger side, you need to be a contortionist to fit in the seats.
The theatre itself with all the intricate moldings is quite beautiful. It has the old classic theatre feel and there is a lot to take in while waiting for the show to start.

Thank bratty28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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