Location: 268-269 Tottenham Court Road
Currently Showing: Big (opening soon)
Access: Tottenham Court Road
Stage Door: Corner of Dyott and Bainbridge – turn left twice out of the main entrance
Ownership: Nederlander Dominion Ltd.
The Dominion Theatre was built on the site of the former Horse Shoe Brewery. Construction began in March 1928 and it opened for its first performance on 3rd October 1929 with Follow Through which closed after only 148 performances. The theatre was built with the purpose of showing musical comedies but had licensing for cinema use between productions.
In 1930, the theatre hosted its first pantomime, Aladdin, which starred Ella Retford. The venue was hired by Universal Pictures to show its 1925 Phantom of the Opera film. This was followed by the London premiere of Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights which Chaplin himself attended.
After this, the theatre ran into financial trouble. The company that owned the theatre was liquidated on 30th May 1932. In 1933, Associated Provincial Picture Houses took over and converted the auditorium for films. It was forced to close during the Blitz but it suffered very little damage and reopened on 12th January 1941.
In February 1957, Billy Haley and the Comets’ concert was a massive success and this led to regular use for live performances. Sophie Tucker starred in the Last of the Red Hot Mamas in May 1957. Later that year, the Judy Garland Show ran from 16th October for a month.
South Pacific opened on 21st April 1958 and closed after over 4 years on 30th September 1962. The film Cleopatra, which starred Elizabeth Taylor, showed here from August 1963 for almost two years. The Sound of Music ran from 29th March 1965 to 31st June 1968.
In the ’70s and ’80s, the theatre was host to many concerts, including: Manhatten Transfer, Phil Collins, Robert Plant, Duran Duran (which Princess Diana and Prince Charles attended), Dolly Parton, Adam and the Ants, Manfred Mann, Van Morrison, David Bowie and U2. The venue also hosted numerous film premieres, including Star Wars.
In 1992, the Dominion began to show musical theatre again, starting with Grand Hotel. A year later, Grease opened and was very popular. The musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, called Scrooge, was staged here from 1996 to 1997 and featured Anthony Newley. The Beauty and the Beast opened at the Dominion in 1997 and won an Olivier Award for the Best Musical.
The Dominion Theatre was home to the Queen musical, We Will Rock You, which opened on 14th May 2002, and closed twelve years later on 31st May 2014. After a three and a half month refurbishment, the theatre played host to a seven week run of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita which opened on 18th September 2014. This was followed by White Christmas, Lord of the Dance and Elf the Musical (which starred Kimberley Walsh and Ben Forster), The Bodyguard, An American In Paris, and Jim Steinman’s Bat Out of Hell.
The Dominion Theatre is located on Tottenham Court Road. The British Museum is within 10 minutes’ walk of the theatre. Soho Square is also within seven minutes’ walk.
Our favourite nearby restaurants:
- VQ – Great Russell Street, open 24 hours, wide ranging menu
- Olivelli – Store Street, Italian
- Pizza Express – Charlotte Street, vouchers available
- Soho Square – Soho Square, cocktail bar, small menu
- Giotto – New Oxford Street, Italian cuisine, wide ranging menu
- La Porchetta Pollo Bar – Old Compton Street, pizza
The Dominion Theatre is a large venue. There are very few seats with an obstructed view. There are two central aisles on both tiers, and seats on these aisles provide the best view.
Where to buy tickets
The Dominion Theatre is owned by Nederlander and therefore the best place to buy tickets for productions at this theatre is through the theatre’s website.
Reviews from the Dominion
The Bodyguard – ★★ “…a great show, fantastic fun with powerful music and a talented cast but with a weak story.” Read more >>>
An American In Paris – ★★★★ “…a superb musical with sensational choreography and a wonderful cast of dancers.” Read more >>>
Bat Out of Hell – ★★★★★ “…we’d love it to stay…well, till the end of time!” Read more >>>