STAY UP TO DATE & JOIN THE CONVERSATION -
Cookies on the ATG Tickets website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the ATG Tickets website. However, if you would like to, you can change your settings at any time.

Edinburgh Playhouse

The Edinburgh Playhouse opened its doors for the first time at 2pm on Monday 12 August 1929. Although originally designed as a variety theatre, by the time the building was completed it had been decided to open it as a cinema. The first film to be screened was ‘The Doctor’s Secret’ an adaptation of JM Barrie’s short play ‘Half an Hour’.

The building was owned and run by the Maguire family and was designed by Glasgow architect John Fairweather. On a fact finding trip to... Read more >>

Edinburgh Playhouse

Edinburgh Playhouse Overview

The Edinburgh Playhouse opened its doors for the first time at 2pm on Monday 12 August 1929. Although originally designed as a variety theatre, by the time the building was completed it had been decided to open it as a cinema. The first film to be screened was ‘The Doctor’s Secret’ an adaptation of JM Barrie’s short play ‘Half an Hour’.

The building was owned and run by the Maguire family and was designed by Glasgow architect John Fairweather. On a fact finding trip to America he was impressed by the splendour of the Roxy Theatre in New York and some of its features were said to have inspired the final designs for the Playhouse.

It continued to operate as a successful cinema for over forty years, during which time a number of stars paid a visit, including Marlene Dietrich, Yul Brynner and Laurel and Hardy.

By 1973 the down turn in the cinema business made it impossible to make a profit from such a large single screen venue. Splitting it into a multi screen was considered too costly and so the building was put up for sale. The cinema closed down on the 24 November 1973, with ‘Live and Let Die’ being the last film to be screened.

It was sold to a property developer who applied for planning permission to build an office block and began to arrange for demolishing of the Playhouse. Planning permission was turned down, but the threat of demolition hung over the building for some time.

Soon after the cinema closed Gordon Lucas and Larry McGuire, former employees of the Playhouse, set up the Playhouse Preservation Action Group and began a campaign to save the Playhouse. 15,000 signatures were collected and eventually the Secretary of State placed a class B preservation order on the building.

In 1975 the Edinburgh Playhouse Society was formed. This organisation was particularly interested in seeing the Playhouse being reopened and used for Opera and Ballet. Another petition was started and a further 13,500 signatures were collected.

After more than four years of campaigning the Lothian Regional Council finally agreed to buy the Playhouse and turn it into a multipurpose venue. The cinema was refurbished and opened as a fully functional theatre on 1 June 1980 with a charity gala in aid of the Variety Club of Great Britain.

Since then the Playhouse has changed hands on a number of occasions. Initially into those of a local businessman and subsequently to Apollo Leisure, SFX, Clear Channel Entertainment, Livenation and, as of 2010, The Ambassador Theatre Group.

Over the years the theatre has played host to the world's biggest and most successful musicals, including  Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, Grease, Cats, Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, Mamma Mia, Starlight Express, Mary Poppins and We Will Rock You. Many legendary bands and artists have also graced our stage including Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Tom Waits, BB King, Runrig, The Who, Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, U2 and Johnny Cash.

Like every theatre the Playhouse has its resident ghost. He first appeared in the 1950s when a security guard had called the police to investigate noises coming from level 6 in the north tower. The guard was shocked to hear that on investigation the policeman had found no evidence of a break in, but had met Albert the maintenance manager who had assured him that everything was fine. Albert was indeed the maintenance manager, but he had died many years earlier!

Mon 20 - Sat 05
Nov 2017   Jan 2019
Click for more details and to book Bistro: Edinburgh Playhouse tickets at Bistro: Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Bistro: Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Mon 20
Nov 2017
Click for more details and to book John Bishop - Winging It tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Thu 23 - Sat 25
Nov 2017   Nov 2017
Click for more details and to book Tango Moderno tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Tue 28 - Sat 02
Nov 2017   Dec 2017
Click for more details and to book Beautiful - The Carole King Musical tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Tue 12 - Sun 07
Dec 2017   Jan 2018
Click for more details and to book Shrek the Musical tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Fri 12
Jan 2018
Click for more details and to book A Country Night in Nashville tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Sat 13
Jan 2018
Click for more details and to book Showaddywaddy tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Mon 15 - Sat 20
Jan 2018   Jan 2018
Click for more details and to book Flashdance tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Mon 29
Jan 2018
Click for more details and to book The Simon and Garfunkel Story tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Thu 01
Feb 2018
Click for more details and to book Whitney - Queen of the Night tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Fri 02
Feb 2018
Click for more details and to book One Night of Queen tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Tue 06 - Sat 10
Feb 2018   Feb 2018
Click for more details and to book Tanguera tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Mon 12 - Sat 17
Feb 2018   Feb 2018
Click for more details and to book This Is Elvis tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Tue 20 - Sat 24
Feb 2018   Feb 2018
Click for more details and to book The Sound of Music tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Sun 25
Feb 2018
Click for more details and to book ABBA Mania tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Tue 27 - Sat 03
Feb 2018   Mar 2018
Click for more details and to book The Rat Pack - Live From Las Vegas tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Mon 05 - Sat 10
Mar 2018   Mar 2018
Click for more details and to book Blood Brothers tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Mon 12 - Sat 17
Mar 2018   Mar 2018
Click for more details and to book Hairspray tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Fri 23 - Sat 24
Mar 2018   Mar 2018
Click for more details and to book Russian State Ballet of Siberia's Swan Lake tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Sun 25
Mar 2018
Click for more details and to book Girls Night Oot! tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Thu 29
Mar 2018
Click for more details and to book Ellen Kent's La Traviata tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Fri 30 - Sat 31
Mar 2018   Mar 2018
Click for more details and to book Ellen Kent: Madama Butterfly tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Tue 03 - Sat 07
Apr 2018   Apr 2018
Click for more details and to book Crazy For You tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Tue 10
Apr 2018
Click for more details and to book Russell Brand - Re:Birth tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Fri 13
Apr 2018
Click for more details and to book The Chicago Blues Brothers tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Sat 14
Apr 2018
Click for more details and to book That'll Be the Day tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Mon 16 - Tue 17
Apr 2018   Apr 2018
Click for more details and to book Gary Barlow tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Thu 19 - Sun 22
Apr 2018   Apr 2018
Click for more details and to book Fat Friends - The Musical tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Thu 26
Apr 2018
Click for more details and to book Sheridan Smith tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Thu 03
May 2018
Click for more details and to book Jason Manford - Muddle Class tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Fri 04
May 2018
Click for more details and to book The Carpenters Story tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Sat 05
May 2018
Click for more details and to book The Illegal Eagles tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Tue 08 - Sat 09
May 2018   Jun 2018
Click for more details and to book Wicked (UK Tour) tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Tue 12 - Sat 16
Jun 2018   Jun 2018
Click for more details and to book Titanic The Musical tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Tue 19 - Sat 23
Jun 2018   Jun 2018
Click for more details and to book Summer Holiday tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Fri 29
Jun 2018
Click for more details and to book The Waterboys tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Mon 02 - Sat 07
Jul 2018   Jul 2018
Click for more details and to book An Officer and a Gentleman The Musical tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Tue 10 - Sat 14
Jul 2018   Jul 2018
Click for more details and to book THE BAND: Take That's New Musical tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Mon 10 - Sat 05
Dec 2018   Jan 2019
Click for more details and to book Kinky Boots tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Fri 31
Dec 2027
Click for more details and to book Seat Sponsorship tickets at Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh
Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Other Venues Close to Edinburgh Playhouse

Experian Hitwise Winner Verisign