Museum Theatre

Museum Theatre is situated proximity to the main entrance to the Museum, very much visible from the Pantheon Road; the museum theatre is a rare example of the Indo-Saracenic mode of architecture. The theatre was built by the British in the late 19th century.

The crescent shaped structure has a high raised plinth and is reached through a magnificent flight of a pair of granite stairs. It is primarily a semicircular structure having rectangular wing at the rear side. A long corridor with porticos on either side stands centre of the structure. The latter wing now houses galleries of the museum. The main hall is accessed through a curved verandah with a row of columns connected by hemispherical arches.

Exposed brick architecture was followed in the Museum Theatre. The red-bricks are seen in the outer walls of the building while the inner walls plastered with lime mortar. The dome in the museum theatre has provided no supports of wooden rafters. This theatre has special acoustic systems like no echo heard and voice is audible even in the last row without any amplifiers. Tiered-seating arrangements are found in a half circle manner around the pit, pit has row of seats. Total 558 seats are available at the Museum Theatre.

During the British time, theatre was chiefly utilised for the performance of English plays, was most favorite of the then British elite society. Now, the museum theatre has been used for the museums own cultural and academic programs such as art workshops, lectures and conferences. This theatre is also available for rent to conduct cultural performances like dramas, music concerts, Bhartaha Natiyam etc.,


Details of Payment towards the Museum Theatre A/C 
Government Museum, Pantheon Road, Egmore, Chennai - 600 008.

Ph. : 28193238 / Fax : 28193035 Email :
Rent for the Museum Theatre for programme Rent Rs. A/c. Electricity Charges per hour Rs. 1700/- Total Rs. Caution Deposit Equivalent to two single programmes 2 days rent (rounded off)
4 Hours performance (single programme) 8,100 6,800 14,900 30,000
12 Hours performance (single continuous programme) 8,100 20,400 28,500 55,000
Two performance per day (4 Hours each) 8,100 13,600 29,800 30,000
Theatre Capacity (Number of Seats) 558 Seats (Eight Seats reserved for the Museum) VIP seats 1 to 6 and 'G' Row : 1 & 2


  • Any damage done by the hirer to the building and furniture of the Museum Theatre will be recovered from the Caution Deposit and the cost be determined by the museum authorities.
  • The actual amount may be remitted to the State Bank of India, Thousand lights Branch, Chennai-600 006.
  • Caution Deposit may be remitted through D.D. (in favour of Chief Accounts Officer, Government Museum, Chennai) to the U.D. Accountant, Government Museum, and Chennai-600 008 on any working day between 11.30 A.M. to 4.00 P.M. for Rs.5, 000/- at the time of booking. If by any chance, the hirer cancelled the booking Rs.5000/- paid as Advance Caution Deposit will be forfeited.
  • Balance amount to be remitted 15 days before the actual date of performance.
  • Police permit should be obtained from the Commissioner of Police, Egmore, Chennai-600 008 for conducting the performance.
  • Arrangements for the provision of public address system and extra lighting except open halogen lamps may be made by you through a E.B. License holder.
  • Standby generator may be arranged by you for use during electricity failure.
  • All steps will be taken by the museum authorities for the up keep of the A/C units. But the Museum Department is not responsible, if the A/C. equipment is not working due to electricity or technical failures.
  • During water scarcity the applicant may arrange for water at their own expenses.
  • Eatables will not be allowed in the Museum Theatre and Theatre Verandah and Premises.
  • The Museum Theatre should be kept clean by the users during and after the programme and also hand over the Theatre as it is given to the hirer.
  • Stickers, posters should never the fixed in the walls or fixtures of the Museum Theatre. Wooden stage, screens, walls etc., should never be used for any other purposes.
  • Safety of life is very important and all precautions should be taken by those who book the Museum Theatre, to ensure the safety of human life as well as the heritage.
  • Regarding fire and safety precautions, the decision of museum authorities is final.
  • Sale of Coffee or Soft drinks will be allowed only near the main entrance ( Museum Theatre with the premission from the authorities).
  • The Museum rules should strictly be adhered to, if not the hirer will be fined Rs.10,000/-. This amount will be recovered from the caution Deposit.
  • If any hirer wants to Exhibit (Sales Products) they should obtain permission from the authorities to do so. After due permission alone they will be allowed to display their exhibits.
  • If by any chance, the programme has to be cancelled after remitting the full amount including the caution deposit, only 50% of the rent amount will be refunded.
  • Musical programmes should obtain NOC from "The Indian Performing Right Society Ltd" to conduct the programme in the Museum Theatre.

Addl. Chief Secretary /
Commissioner of Museums.

// by order //

Assistant Director (Admin)
Government Museum, Chennai - 8.

Refund of Caution Deposit cheque in favour of .......
Received Museum Theatre Rules


Signature of the Applicant