Playhouse Theatre

231 Smith Street,

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Bevgender on September 20, 2015 at 5:22 am

I have fond memories of this cinema circa 1958-9. Here I saw The Fly and The Vikings. I was eleven and certainly too young for one. But the principal joy was the cinema building itself: a Tudor exterior, which was announced from along the pavement by a kerbside hanging post sign (just like an English country pub). Inside the auditorium – a complete style switch to a Castilian castle courtyard open to the sky. And it almost really was – as there were, tiny stars set in the night sky, and just as you were marvelling at this, thin wispy clouds drifted across. It had a cloud machine. A complete change of ambience from the noise of chatter and crockery in Durban’s other really unique cinema, the Oxford Bio Café.

atmos on July 2, 2007 at 4:17 am

The architect was P.Rogers-Cooke.

atmos on July 20, 2005 at 7:55 pm

Thanks john martin.I have just discovered the website.The original information was off a website I found but have since lost it.The Playhouse complex consists of an Opera Theatre(1224 seats)Drama Theatre(474 seats)and Loft(136 seats).The Prince’s Theatre opened in July 1926.
The Opera Theatre has a starry sky,so could it be described as an atmospheric.

johnmartin on July 19, 2005 at 9:32 pm

The Playhouse Theatre in Durban was originally opened on 7th June 1935 as a live theatre. It only became a venue for film shows later on. It was converted back to a live theatre venue when the Kinekor Organisation closed the establishment in the 1970s. It then became the official venue of the then Natal Performing Arts Council.It had no connection to the Prince’s Theatre (not Princess)which was situated on an adjacent city block. This particular theatre was refurbished in the late 1960s to become the Colosseum Theatre.

atmos on July 18, 2005 at 5:24 pm

Sorry but the Playhouse and the Princess were different theatres and it is not a multiplex,the largest theatre is used for opera,although the venue does host the Durban Film Festival.I will do some more research.