Colosseum Theatre

Commissioner Street,
Johannesburg

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Colosseum Theatre

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The Colosseum Theatre in Commissioner Street, Johannesburg, was opened by General Smuts on 4th October 1933 and became the flagship of African Consolidated Theatres. It occupied an entire city block with a west and east wing containing offices. The theatre had a distinct ‘Egyptian’ motif on the facade. Inside the auditorium, designed by interior designer William Timlin in a ‘castleated’ style with turrets and fairy dragons, the stage opening had a large rouged festoon curtain made from crushed velvet material adorning the procenium arch in later years.

It could accommodate full-fledged stage shows as well as movie presentations. A distinct feature was the ceiling of the large auditorium which contained hundreds of tiny concealed lights giving the effect of looking up at a night sky with stars twinkling.

Closed in 1985, it was demolished and an office block named ‘Collosseum’ was built on the site.

Contributed by John Ferreira

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

atmos
atmos on July 2, 2007 at 1:10 am

Status should be changed to closed/demolished as it was pulled down in 1985.The architect was P.Rogers-Cooke.

barklem
barklem on June 22, 2011 at 12:28 am

I had forgotten how beautiful it actually was. I was last there to see Richard Clydeman in concert. Almost sacriledge really.

Does anyone have any photographs of the foyer of the theatre? I’ve recently acquired a beautiful art deco piece, a semi-clad, lady figurine lamp, said to have been one of a pair at the base of the staircase in the theatre. I just wondered if it were in fact the case and was looking for evidence of this.

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