His Majesty's Theatre

Commissioner Street,

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Additional Info

Architects: Morris Cowen

Functions: Retail

Styles: Streamline Moderne

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His Majesty's Theatre

His Majesty’s Theatre was situated in Commissioner Street, Joannesburg, South Africa and opened on 23rd December 1946 as a legitimate theatre presenting live stage productions. It was converted by its owners, African Consolidated Theatres, into an exclusive ‘roadshow’ movie theatre with the release of Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments” in 1956.

That same year 70mm projectors, together with six-track magnetic stereo sound equipment, were installed for the release of Mike Todd’s “Around The World In 80 Days”. This theatre continued to show such blockbusters as “Lawrence of Arabia”, “Cleopatra”, and “My Fair Lady”, to mention but a few, all presented in 70mm.

In 1978 it ceased operating as a movie theatre and reverted back to live stage show presentations under the management of well-known impressarios Joan Brickhill and Louis Burke. Sadly, due to financial constraints, the theatre was finally closed in 1981 with a glorious production of ‘Hello Dolly!’.

The space that housed the theatre was then converted into a chain store.

Contributed by John Ferreira

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Sharkbytes on June 18, 2011 at 11:40 am

I was assistant manager at His Majesty’s in Johannesburg in 1972. I remember it fondly., Robbie the General Manager had been there many years and was himself a colourful and memorable personality. Mr Small was the Circuit Controller whose brother Lou, by coincidence was in a similar position with Rank in Great Britain where I had come from. Those pictures (link above)show what a fine building it was . I went from there to manage the Regent . I haven’t been back to South Africa since 1972 but I get a wave of sadness to think its been replaced by a chain store. I’m lost for words. Terry Sharkey

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