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Theatre History

View some of the more notable events and players that make up the Savannah Theatre’s rich history.

  • An early rendering of the Theatre.
  • A 19th Century era postcard of the Theatre. Inset: Alexander Telfair.
  • The Theatre's Articles of Incorporation (1838)
  • The Theatre circa 1906
  • Aftermath of 1948 Fire
  • Playbill from 1950 Grand Re-Opening
  • Lillian Russell, Oscar Wilde, W.C. Fields
  • Edwin Booth as Hamlet
  • Newspaper Ad for Ty Cobb in 'The College Widow'
  • The Theatre Today
The Savannah Theatre opened its doors on December 4th, 1818 with a production of the comedy "The Soldier's Daughter" and a farce, "Raising The Wind."
The original structure was designed by renowned architect William Jay. Among Jay's other celebrated works is the Telfair Mansion, built for Alexander Telfair in 1819.
In its first 20 years the Theatre would change hands several times, twice at auction. But in 1838 a more stable stock company was organized and the theatre was incorporated in December of that year.
Over the past two centuries the Theatre has undergone several face-lifts as a result of damage from fires.
As a result of the 1948 fire, the Theatre was remodeled to its current Art Deco style.
The Theatre re-opened as a movie house on October 21st, 1950 with a screening of "Mister Eighty-Eight" starring Burt Lancaster and Dorothy McGuire.
Some of the many illustrious stars to perform at the Savannah Theatre include Fanny Davenport, E.H. Sothern, Julia Marlowe, Otis Skinner, Henry Irving, Tyrone Power, Ellen Terry, Oscar Wilde, Sarah Bernhardt, Lillian Russell and W.C. Fields.
Edwin Booth played several engagements at the Theatre in February of 1876. Although probable, it is unknown as to whether or not Booth's brother, John Wilkes, played here as well.
One of the more unique performances in the Theatre's history came in November of 1911, when baseball great Ty Cobb appeared in "The College Widow."
Today, the Savannah Theatre has been restored as a wonderful example of the 1940's Art Deco style. We invite you to stop in and visit the museum in our lobby which includes more artifacts, newspaper articles, and photographs from the past.

Current and Upcoming Shows



Jun 7, 2024 - Jun 28, 2024
Savannah Live

Savannah Live

Apr 9, 2024 - Jun 1, 2024
MOTOWN and More!

MOTOWN and More!

Apr 3, 2024 - Apr 7, 2024
Jersey Boys

Jersey Boys

Mar 1, 2024 - Mar 30, 2024