City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh Playhouse


Edinburgh Playhouse
18-22 Greenside Place
Edinburgh EH1 3AA
The Playhouse, Edinburgh
Venue details
Edinburgh Area: 
Leith and Leith Walk
Telephone (info): 
0131 524 3301
Telephone (box office): 
0870 606 3424, Group bookings (10+ tickets): 0800 587 5007
Edinburgh Fringe Venue: 
59

Major venue, situated at the top of Leith Walk, that hosts many big-name and West End touring shows, be it dance, musical, rock, or Edinburgh International Festival.

About the Edinburgh Playhouse

Designed by Glasgow architect, John Fairweather as a variety theatre, the Playhouse was largely modelled on the Roxy Theatre in New York, but caught up in the new craze sweeping the country, it opened as a super-cinema on 12th August 1929 with the ‘talkie' The Doctor's Secret.

It remained a cinema for 40 years while in the ownership of the MacGuire family, until it fell victim to the cinema slump in 1973. Tender for demolition were invited by advertisement, and a ‘Save the Playhouse' group was set up, who collected 15,000 signatures against the closure. In 1974 the Playhouse was given listed building status.

In 1975 the ‘Edinburgh Playhouse Society' was formed, a second petition brought a further 13,500 signatures, helping tremendously in saving the building that stands here today.

Over the next 12 years the theatre changed hands 5 times, until Apollo Leisure took over ownership in December 1985. In 1993 a major refurbishment was undertaken and The Edinburgh Playhouse was returned to its former glory, soon becoming one of the most successful theatres in Britain.