Bijou Theatre

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The Bijou Theatre

French for “jewel”, it is a generic name for theatres across the world. A popular name for theatre buildings in South Africa as well especially in the 19th century, later also used for bioscopes.

Bijou Theatres in Cape Town

Bijou Theatre, Plein Street

Name given to the Oddfellows Hall by Disney Roebuck when he revamped it in 1875, adding a backdrop by illustrating "Discovery of the SA Goldfields", painted by Thomas Baines. He appointed Sutton Vane as stage manager, and performed 140 plays there in the first 7 month season. In 1876, on his return from a tour of Natal, Roebuck moved to the newly completed Theatre Royal in Burg Street, and apparently the Bijou ceased to exist (in name – the Oddfellows Hall was again used after that*?).

The Bijou Theatre in Observatory

The Bijou Theatre was opened in 1941 and designed by architect William Hood Grant. It was situated at 178 Lower Main Road, Observatory. It was closed as a cinema circa 2002 and since then has been used as an art gallery and a venue for special events.

The Bijou Theatre in Salt River

An art-deco cinema building built in 19**...

The Bijou Theatre, Pietermaritzburg

The Bijou Theatre

A theatre of note in Pietermaritzburg in the late nineteenth century (16 October 1867 – 6 December 1876)

The New Bijou Theatre

On 11 August 1877 the Bijou Theatre re-opened as the New Bijou and was later renamed the Theatre Royal.


Jill Fletcher, 1994; Dennis Schauffer, 197*

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