Spend an evening enjoying a meal, watching a dramatic performance and looking for the friendly in-house ghost at this majestic Melbourne theatre.
The Princess Theatre is one of Melbourne's cultural jewels, having hosted such renowned productions as The Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables. Admire its majestic architecture and then take a seat in its intimate performance hall, which can hold 1,470 people. Savour a whimsical evening of champagne and music, mingle with drama-loving guests and experience Melbourne's rich cultural heritage.
Opened in 1854, the Princess Theatre was built with a retractable roof and electric stage lighting, which were state of the art features at the time. After falling into disrepair over the next century, it was restored into its modern form as one of Melbourne's primary cultural landmarks.
Of the theatre's many curiosities, visitors are most often intrigued by the legend of a friendly ghost that resides in these walls. Actors and staff have reported many sightings over the years and his ghostly face was even caught on a documentary frame made in the 1970s, so keep an eye out. According to long-passed tales, this phantom is the opera singer, Federici, who died of an on-stage heart attack in 1888. Spot the empty seat in the Dress Circle, which is left unoccupied every night to honour his memory.
Enjoy a fine meal at the Federici Bistro before your show. Alternatively, the theatre is near to Chinatown where you'll find a number of delightful oriental cuisines. Digest your meal as you satisfy your appetite for drama in the theatre's comfortable, red chairs. Look up and inspect the intricate architecture and decorations that adorn the ceiling. At the intermission, enjoy the fresh evening air and photograph the theatre's exterior. Its intricate architecture is especially pretty at night when its stained glass windows are illuminated from within.
Find the Princess Theatre on Spring Street in Melbourne's centre, next to Parliament Gardens. Get there by metro, stopping at Parliament Station, or catch the free City Circle Tram, which stops just outside. Buy tickets online or by phone. Booster seats can be bought for kids.