The Theatre Royal was built in 1787 on one of Margate’s most fashionable squares. Most of its interior dates from 1874, when the theatre underwent a radical remodelling both inside and out, under the direction of the architect J T Robinson. It is Grade II* listed, and is situated in a conservation area. Margate is now the focus of a major arts-led regeneration programme; Turner Contemporary has opened on the seafront, Dreamland is open once more, and Margate town is buzzing with galleries and artists of all genres.
Theatre Royal now offers a mixed, commercially driven, programme of comedy, music, theatre and family shows, although previously it has worked to bring the best of contemporary theatre to Margate by working with companies like Fuel and Paines Plough, and through projects such as the Black Theatre Live consortium.
The Theatre is owned by Thanet District Council and is currently managed by Your Leisure Kent Ltd, who also manage the nearby Margate Winter Gardens.
In August 2021, it was announced that Your Leisure’s rolling lease will cease on 28th April 2022 and bookings at the venue will be “paused” from this date. Margate Town Deal funding of £2 million has been allocated for a renovation project, with work on a business case for this starting in September 2021. Thanet District Council will be looking for an operator, project partner and making a funding submission to the National Lottery Heritage Fund prior to reopening.