The Dominion Theatre is situated on Tottenham Court Road in the West End of London, close to Tottenham Court Road tube station. Built in 1929, this 2000 seat venue served for many years as a cinema and provides one of the best spaces in London for the staging of grand-scale musicals.
The first production at the Dominion Theatre was musical comedy Follow Through, which opened on October 3 1929. Among the countless notable shows to have graced this venerable West End theatre’s stage since then are Grease, Scrooge and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
Today, the Dominion Theatre enjoys consistent success and is known internationally as an exceptional venue in which to see high energy, family friendly musical theatre.
But, like any long-serving institution, its fortunes have varied over the years. Although initially built as a live performance venue, the Dominion was quickly converted into a cinema after poor sales on live shows in the early 1930s. In 1958 an enormous screen was installed in the theatre along with a new projection box. It was at this time that the upper circle was closed, as it remains to this day.
During the 1980s the Dominion was converted back into a theatre, staging both one-off music concerts and large scale musicals. The Royal Variety Performance was held at the theatre a number of times throughout the 1990s and early 2000s.
Much loved Queen musical We Will Rock You opened at the Dominion in 2002 and recently celebrated 10 years in the West End.
The layout, size and atmosphere of the Dominion Theatre make it the perfect place to see big, technically impressive musical theatre and dance. Recent successes include Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, Notre-Dame de Paris and We Will Rock You.
Whatever you decide to see at the Dominion Theatre, we wish you an entertaining and rewarding visit.
Built on the grounds of a pub and a cinema, the rather unfortunate timing of its 1929 opening marked the beginning of the Depression and didn’t serve the Dominion Theatre well; its first production closed after just 148 performances. This trouble followed it throughout the 1930s and forced it to change its raison d’etre for the new revolutionary medium, cinema.
This venture saved the Dominion Theatre from closure thanks to its popular location helping fill its whopping 3000 seats. For years, its biggest earners (ironically) were screenings of film musicals, with the occasional live show. But as the popularity of film musicals dwindled in Hollywood, the Dominion Theatre went into decline as well. Adapting to survive once again, it turned into a live venue in 1981 (with the odd film premiere here and there).
In this time of fluctuation during the ‘80s, the Dominion went back to its roots as a theatre and, combining its history of success with film musicals, welcomed musical productions of Grease, Swan Lake and the stage adaptation of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Its large capacity also served the Royal Variety Performance a handful of times from 1992 to 2001.
Despite its rocky history and struggle to stay in business, the Dominion Theatre hit the jackpot in 2002 with the immensely popular Queen musical We Will Rock You. Although the show almost closed in 2006, just like its theatre home, it overcame its obstacles and continues to stay strong to this day.