His Majesty’s Theatre on 827-910 Hay Street is an Edwardian Baroque building, built between 1902 and 1904. When it was opened, it was the largest theatre in Australia, seating over 2,500 people. It is now a State Heritage Icon, described as ‘the most lavish and well-executed ornamentation of any Federation Free Classical theatre building in Australia’. There was a 65 room theatre, adjoining the theatre, and accessible via internal iron doors. Many famous actors and actresses have performed here, notably Vivien Leigh, John Gielgud, Rex Harrison, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Helpmann, and figures such as Anna Pavlova, Dame Margot Fonteyn, and Barry Humphries.
It is the only remaining Edwardian theatre still in operation in Australia. Ballet, opera and musicals have been performed here, and since the late 1970s, it has been the home of West Australian Opera and West Australian Ballet.
The theatre was commissioned by Thomas Molloy (1852-1938), the Canadian Mayor of Perth who did much for the cultural life of Perth. It is now run by the Perth Theatre Trust.
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