Durban’s Playhouse complex links the city’s present with its past. The current theatre facade preserves two of the city’s most famous landmarks, situated adjacent to each other in central Smith Street opposite the City Hall, first conceived as cinemas, namely the glamorous Prince’s Theatre, which originated in 1926, and the grand, Tudor-styled Playhouse, which originally opened its doors to public fanfares and capacity house in 1935.
In the early 1980s, these two celebrated entertainment venues underwent expert renovation and conversion into a state-of-the-art, multi-venue theatre complex that faithfully preserved many of the buildings’ original characteristics and architectural features. This was officially opened in the mid ’80s as The Natal Playhouse, subsequently to become known by its present-day title The Playhouse, KwaZulu-Natal’s premier theatre complex and home of The Playhouse Company.
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