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Colosseum Theatre

Colosseum Theatre

Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

First Opened: 4th October 1933 (90 years ago)

Atmospheric Style: Egyptian

Architect: Percy Rogers Cooke

Status: Demolished

Address: Commissioner Street, Johannesburg, South Africa Link opens in new window


The Colosseum Theatre was opened by General Smuts in October 1933 and became the flagship of African Consolidated Theatres. It occupied an entire city block with a west and east wing containing offices. The theatre had a distinct Egyptian motif on the façade. Inside the auditorium, designed by interior designer William Timlin in a “castleated” style with turrets and fairy dragons, the stage opening had a large rouged festoon curtain made from crushed velvet material adorning the proscenium arch in later years.

The theatre could accommodate fully-fledged stage shows as well as movie presentations. A distinct feature was the ceiling of the large auditorium which contained hundreds of tiny concealed lights giving the effect of looking up at a night sky with stars twinkling.

Closed in 1985, it was demolished and an office block named Colosseum was built on the site.

Information in part sourced from Cinema Treasures Link opens in new window.

Further Reading


Historic Photos & Documents
Exterior, courtesy Cinema Treasures user <i>Mike Blakemore</i>
Exterior, courtesy Cinema Treasures user Mike Blakemore
Interior, courtesy Cinema Treasures user <i>film</i>
Interior, courtesy Cinema Treasures user film
Exterior, courtesy <i>The Heritage Portal</i>
Exterior, courtesy The Heritage Portal
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