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Her Majesty's Theatre was built in 1897, however a venue has stood on the grounds since 1705; operas by Handel and Bach received their debuts here. Her Majesty’s Theatre is the second oldest site used for theatre in London, after the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
The home of The Phantom of the Opera is fittingly supposed to be haunted by a real phantom – that of Sir Beerbohm-Tree, for whom the theatre was built in 1897. His favourite place in Her Majesty’s Theatre was the stage right top box, and ghostly activity still occurs there today.
When Her Majesty's opened, the venue moved away from its operatic tradition, instead finding its biggest successes in the ever more popular genre of musical theatre. Chu Chin Chow smashed records of the time, while milestones were reached by both West Side Story and Fiddler on the Roof. This tradition has continued with The Phantom of the Opera, which opened in 1986 and is currently the second-longest-running musical in the West End.
The name of the theatre changed every time the gender of the monarch on the throne did, so it has also been known as The King’s Theatre and His Majesty’s Theatre. The ‘majesty’ title was adopted from 1837 with a previous theatre on the site.