We’ve been entertaining York communities for over 85 years. Founded on chocolate and opened in 1935, the Joseph Rowntree Theatre was commissioned by the Rowntree family for the workers at their chocolate factory. The building stands opposite what was the original Rowntree factory.
Workers were encouraged to use the theatre for their entertainment, whether watching or taking part. The first play staged at the theatre was a production of “Ambrose Applejohn’s Adventure”, which ran from 27 to 30 November 1935.
The Rowntree Players theatre group, formed in 1912, is still going strong today and performing on the very same stage the chocolate workers first trod the boards.
The Joseph Rowntree Theatre will continue entertaining local communities. We are making plans for the future and getting ready for when we can welcome you back to our live shows. Join us and be ready to experience that special moment when we reopen our theatre doors. Sign up for our mailing list today.
You'll be surprised how much is going on in our virtual theatre - plays, opera, festivals, musicals - don't miss out!