Theatres Trust

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We promote the better protection of theatre buildings to protect the future of live theatre

We promote the quality and design of existing and new theatres

We protect important historic theatres so that they can be used as theatres in the future

We make sure theatre buildings meet the needs and demands of the theatre industry and audiences

We do all this because we believe that the experience of live theatre in people’s lives contributes to our well-being and leads to a fairer, informed, more generous, and understanding society.

Venue Type:

Archive, Association or society

Opening hours

Mon - Fri
09.00 to 18.00

Closed: Bank Holidays
Christmas and New Year

Admission charges

Basic charges for specific services incl photocopying in the archive.

Additional info

Phone, letter and email enquiry service available.

Collection and resources open to the public by appointment only.

Since its establishment in 1976 the Trust has acquired a substantial amount of material through its statutory consultee role dealing with theatre buildings.

Currently we have an estimated 30,000 images, 2,700 individual theatre files which include theatre plans, correspondence and working papers, and a theatres database with 3,500 entries. These collections can be viewed by appointment only.

Our website provides our digital Image Library and online Theatres Database, an accessible gateway to the information we hold, and sits alongside our newest resource, 'Exploring Theatres', an illustrated introduction to theatre buildings explaining their use and how the design of theatres evolved.

Collection details

Performing Arts, Archives, Architecture

Key artists and exhibits

  • theatre history
  • theatre architecture
  • theatre photographs
  • local theatre
Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Conference 16 Protecting Theatres

Conference 16: Protecting Theatres

  • 21 June 2016 — 6 September 2017 *on now

Our tenth annual conference: Conference 16: Protecting Theatres will examine the state of our nation’s theatres and discuss their future.

We will consider the past and present influences on theatre architecture and design; the provision of existing and new theatres in response to city and government devolution; changing demographics; housing delivery and community and audience demand.

We will then look to the future, and the potential for the next 40 years, and ask:

• What kinds of theatres will we need to build, and how will we find the resources to do so?
• How should we be asking existing buildings to adapt and change?
• What impact will the popularity of digital distribution of live theatre have?
• How will we ensure that the right spaces are available in the right locations for the next generations of theatre makers?


Standard £165 + VAT


Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

'Exploring Theatres' - Theatres Resource

To encourage a greater understanding of the value of theatre buildings we have created a series of new online learning resources. 'Exploring Theatres' offers an illustrated introduction to the history of theatre buildings in the UK; the spaces that make up a theatre and the people that work in them; the different shapes and styles of theatre auditoria and stages; the ornate decoration in theatre, and how this has changed through the centuries.
Teachers Resources sheets are provided for download and include: 'Planning a theatre visit' and KS2 linked ideas for learning about theatres in art and design, history, literacy, geography and citizenship.


  • The Theatres Trust
  • David Walmsley

How to obtain

Our 'Exploring Theatres' resources are free to use by anyone with access to the internet. If you have any questions or are interested in more information on your local theatre, email us at

Theatres Trust
22 Charing Cross Road
Greater London



General Enquiries


020 7836 8591


020 7836 3302

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.