Théâtre Royal des Galeries

5
Théâtre Royal des Galeries

When the architect Jean-Pierre Cluysenaar designed the Royal Galleries of Saint Hubert, he made sure to include a number of entertainment venues. These included the Théâtre des Galeries, which dates from 1847 and is still in business. The first performance was a form of horror theatre known as “Phantasmagoria”, followed by a type of revue, a tradition that still continues today. At the time, Brussels City Council had banned singing and the playing of music in the theatre, in order to avoid any competition with the Royal Theatre of La Monnaie. Performances were therefore initially confined to comedy, drama and vaudeville but, in 1860, the Théâtre des Galeries obtained permission to host operettas and full orchestra revues. This authorisation was no doubt connected with the fact that the theatre had, in the meantime, become “royal” (in 1849). While melodramas and romantic tragedies were very popular in the late 19th century, the programmes then drastically changed, making way for avant-garde performances, including Russian ballets. Having fallen into disrepair, the theatre was demolished in 1951 and rebuilt based on the plans of architect Paul Bonduelle, with Stéphane Jasinski being put in charge of decoration. He faithfully retained the original red velvet and gold decor but commissioned René Magritte to paint the cupola, from which he suspended the huge 6 m diameter chandelier that can still be seen today.

Practical information

  • Galleries of Saint Hubert
    1000 Brussels
    • Sat. only from 10h00 to 17h45
      only accessible within the framework of the activities
    • M
      De Brouckère, Gare Centrale/Centraal Station
    • T
      De Brouckère
    • B
      De Brouckère