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Singapore National Theatre


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Singapore National Theatre


Opened in 1963 to commemorate Singapore’s self-government, the Singapore National Theatre was a 3420-seat public theatre situated on the slope of Fort Canning Park along River Valley Road. Built at a cost of S$2.2 million, it was often hailed as the “people’s theatre”, as members of the public had contributed S$850,000 to its building fund through fundraising activities such as the "dollar-a-brick" campaign and song requests made on radio. The semi-open air theatre was notable for its unique five-pointed façade and fountain representing the stars and the crescent moon on the Singapore flag, as well as its spectacular 150-tonne cantilevered steel roof that covered the outdoor amphitheater at the rear.

Throughout its lifetime, the Singapore National Theatre housed a myriad of performances, concerts and conferences, ranging from performances by legendary celebrities such as the Russian Bolshoi Ballet, the Louis Armstrong Jazz Band, the Bee Gees, Hollies, Walker Brothers, the Yardbirds and many more to annual universities’ convocations and even National Day rallies.

Unfortunately, the theatre was deemed structurally unsafe and held its last performance in 1984, ceasing its operations thereafter. Demolition works then took place in 1986 to make way for the construction of Singapore’s first MRT lines.

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