In 2010, the national monument underwent a four-year refurbishment to restore its neo-classical façade while getting new state-of-the-art facilities and amenities. The redevelopment also saw the addition of two smaller rooms for music, dance and theatre rehearsals.
Having played a role in the country’s history for over 150 years, the Victoria Theatre & Victoria Concert Hall continues to be an exciting mid-sized platform, supporting the growth of Singapore’s arts industry.
Victoria Theatre & Victoria Concert Hall is managed by The Esplanade Co Ltd.
1855 – 1862
The Victoria Theatre, constructed between 1855 and 1862, is the older of the two buildings. Originally built as a Town Hall, its foundation stone was laid by the Governor of Singapore, Colonel W.J. Butterworth, on 17 March 1855. After its completion, it served as a venue for public meetings, dances and other social functions.
By 1883, the town hall was unable to cope with increasing demand and offices had moved out of the town hall. It was soon converted into a theatre and renamed Victoria Theatre.
1902 – 1905
Victoria Concert Hall (formerly Victoria Memorial Hall) was erected between 1902 and 1905 to honour Queen Victoria, who passed away in 1901.
With the Memorial Hall’s completion, the Town Hall underwent extensive renovations to complement the former’s Victorian architectural style. In 1909, the Town Hall reopened and was renamed Victoria Theatre. The 54-metre high clock tower, which has a copper dome surmounted by a crown, joins the Theatre and the Memorial Hall together.
The first performance to be staged in the newly completed Victoria Theatre was Sirs Arthur S. Sullivan and William S. Gilbert’s well-known comic opera, The Pirates of Penzance, performed by the Singapore Amateur Dramatic Committee in 1909.
1942 – 1947
The Memorial Hall served as a makeshift hospital during World War II, and it was also the venue for war crime trials after the war.
The People’s Action Party’s (PAP) inaugural meeting took place in the Memorial Hall in 1954.
Singapore’s national anthem was originally composed to celebrate the re-opening of Victoria Theatre after its earlier refurbishment in the mid-1950s.
The Victoria Memorial Hall was renovated in the 1970s to serve as a concert hall.
2010 – 2014
The Victoria Theatre & Victoria Concert Hall was closed for a $158 million renovation and reopened its doors after a four-year renovation in July 2014.