The Belgrade Theatre is a live performance venue seating 858 and situated in Coventry, England. It was the first civic theatre to be built after the Second World War in Britain and as such was more than a place of entertainment. It joined the new Coventry Cathedral as a symbol of optimism and culture in one of the largest re-development projects then undertaken, to rebuild the city of Coventry, which had been almost totally destroyed by bombing. The building is now a grade II listed building. In 1963 the Belgrade was registered as a charity by the Charity Commission (number 219163). The Belgrade acquired its name in recognition and thanks for a gift of timber from the Serbian capital city of Belgrade (Coventry’s official sister city), that was used extensively in the construction of the auditorium. Since opening in 1958, the theatre has established itself as a centre for the new and innovative production.
Having pioneered the Theatre-in-Education movement in the 1960s the theatre continues to work with disadvantaged young people and uses drama as a tool to develop personal and social skills. Their most successful programme “Acting Out” has been commissioned by Coventry’s LEA for the last 10 years and has been replicated across the UK. One graduate of the course credits “Acting Out” with saving her life.
The theatre reopened in September 2007 after undergoing a £12m refurbishment with a 7-story extension to provide a second auditorium.