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“first impressions”
Review of Princess Theatre

Princess Theatre
Ranked #14 of 62 things to do in Torquay
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: 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.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Wheelchair access, Stairs / elevator, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children, Food available for purchase
Reviewed March 2, 2013

good introduction to the theatre for my grandchildren good service at the bar and selling hot chips to visitors as we left was brill...

Thank roypp_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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412 - 416 of 501 reviews

Reviewed February 25, 2013

We arrived at the theatre at 5.30 and parked on the road outside. We paid for 40 minutes as after 6 o'clock it is free, and this meant that we were able to get really close to the theatre itself. The theatre was warm and fairly full and we saw '9 to 5' starring Bonnie Langford. It was a really good show and we would certainly go there again when in the area.

6  Thank HolidayPat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2013

Took my Disabled Mum to panto. Good overall. Received parking ticket outside theatre so beware with disable parking!

3  Thank Carole S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2013

Lovely venue, great seats, confectionary not as pricy as many places and a superb show. Warm welcoming staff, clean toilets and a warm venue

Thank 713NatalieS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2013

A party of old folks went to see Starlight Express and found the experience "absolutely fabulous". We will be looking forward to returning in the future to see other shows.

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

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