The Manoel Theatre

The Manoel Theatre

Europe’s third-oldest working theatre, the Manoel Theatre is located on Old Theatre Street in Valletta

A 623 seat venue with an oval-shaped auditorium and tiers of boxes, the Manoel Theatre is home to the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra.

With the boxes made out of wood and adorned with 22-carat gold  lead and a shade of pale blue, the Manoel Theatre has underwent a number of alternations whilst still retaining its original features such as the white Carrara marble staircase and impressive chandeliers.

Built in 1731 in under a year by Grand Master Antonio Manoel de Vilhena, the theatre has recently launched the Children’s Theatre Programme, which provides children with the opportunity to enjoy the theatre as well.

During the Second World War, the Manoel Theatre managed to escape any serious damage. It also served as a shelter for the homeless and victims of bombings that sealed the fate of the Opera House.

Two water reservoirs built beneath the floor,  provide an acoustic environment that is so perfectly created that even a page turning can be held from anywhere in the auditorium.

As an active participant in promoting local talent in drama, the theatre also invites Maltese opera singers to collaborate with foreign performers in the Opera Festival every March. Renowned international ballet companies also hold workshops locally to dance schools.

Visit to learn more.


Did you know?

  • The famous eight-pointed Maltese Cross symbolizes the 8 obligations of the Knights of St John: Truth, faith, repent of sins, humility, justice, merciful, sincere and enduring persecution.
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