Venue History

One of Australia’s oldest working theatres, the iconic National Theatre Melbourne has been a vital part of the Melbourne arts and cultural landscape for almost 100 years.

With its striking Beaux-Arts architectural style carefully preserved across several periods of renovation and refurbishment, The National Theatre Melbourne historically links the cultural hub of St Kilda in the 1920s with the bustling beachside community we know today.

  • 1921 – The Victory opens as a cinema with 3,000 seats
  • 1924 – The cinema becomes part of the Hoyts chain, of which Frank W. Thring – a member of the consortium that owns the Victory – will soon become managing director
  • 1928 – A major reconstruction transforms the cinema interior to make it more luxurious, to compete with the new Palais and Regent theatres. Seating capacity is reduced to 2,550
  • 1929 – The Victory transitions from showing silent films to ‘talkies’
  • 1971 – The building is purchased by the National Theatre Movement
  • 1972 – Extensive renovations transform the venue into a professional theatre for live shows, adding backstage facilities, an orchestra pit and fly tower. The auditorium is divided horizontally, with the stalls area converted into studios, and the upper area into an 800-seat theatre
  • 1974 – The building reopens as the National Theatre, and becomes the permanent home of the National Theatre Ballet School (est. 1939) and National Theatre Drama School (est. 1936)

Hire Contact

Contact the Venue Operations Manager:

+61 (03) 95340221


Venue Hire

The National Theatre Melbourne hosts hundreds of performances and community events every year. Visit our calendar to find more information and book tickets to upcoming performances at The National Theatre.

Our main auditorium, foyers and studios are available to hire for events, shows and private functions. Use the below enquiry form for availability and prices.

You can also become a patron of The National Theatre Melbourne, and help us preserve this landmark, heritage building for future generations.

The Main Auditorium
783 capacity

Great for mid to large scale productions, live music and events.

The Mezzanine
50-70 capacity

Perfect for functions, and a great cabaret / stand-up space

Venue Images by Pasquale Palmieri

Getting There

The National Theatre Melbourne is located at 20 Carlisle St (Cnr Barkly St) St. Kilda, VIC 3182. We have a number of public transport options & nearby parking garages to make your trip effortless. Please plan ahead to ensure you arrive at least 15mins prior to performance time.

Travel by Tram

Catch the No. 96 to Stop 138 Luna Park and walk 350 metres, 16 or 3a to tram stop 33 Barkly St & Carlisle Street arrives outside the theatre doors.

Travel by Train

Balaclava Station is a 15 minute walk (1200 metres) from the theatre.

Travel by Taxi or Uber

Cnr Carlisle St & Barkly St, St Kilda 3182.

Parking Options

Street Parking

On street parking is available on Carlisle and Barkly (please check signage).

Paid Parking

The closest paid parking is located at the Acland Court (183 Barkly St), near Coles Supermarket and just a short walk from The National Theatre Melbourne – Entry and exit is via Barkly Street.

Paid parking is also available on Irwell Street, Belford Street and beside The Palais Theatre.


The National Theatre Melbourne provides lift access to the Mezzanine and a stair climber for access to row J of the Auditorium. All other seating rows are accessible via stairs only.

Please note MOTORISED WHEELCHAIRS exceed the weight limit of our stair climber and cannot be admitted into the auditorium. Please talk to our staff for further options (03) 9525 4611.

Patrons can either transfer from their wheelchair to a seat, or the patron may stay in their chair. We can also reserve a space next to this position for companions or friends attending. Companion Cards are also accepted. Please provide the Card # when making your booking.

No prams or capsules are permitted in the auditorium. Prams and capsules can be parked in the lower foyer and children under 2 years held in arms of the guardian. Babes is arms must not occupy a seat or obstruct the view of other patrons.

Please contact Box Office with any questions or to make a booking via (03) 9525 4611 or boxoffice@nationaltheatre.org.au

Hearing Assistance

The National Theatre Melbourne offers a Hearing Assistance System which allows patrons who use hearing aids to tune into the frequency of the venue.

Please contact Box Office to let our team know that you intend to use the system.


Purchasing Tickets

Tickets can be purchased online through this website, by calling (03) 9525 4611 or in person from our Box Office located in the foyer of The National Theatre, 20 Carlisle St, (Cnr Barkly St), St. Kilda, 3182 VIC

Box Office

The National Theatre Box Office is located in the foyer, at 20 Carlisle St (Cnr Barkly St) St Kilda, 3182 VIC. Opening hours are Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm, plus 45minutes prior to performance. You can email enquiries to boxoffice@nationaltheatre.org.au

Discounted Tickets

Full-time students and those aged 30 years and under can access discounted tickets for all National Theatre mainstage performances. Proof of eligibility is required when booking or collecting tickets. Acceptable proof of eligibility includes photo identification displaying age or a student card issued by an Australian education institution.


Holders of a Seniors Card issued by any Australian state are entitled to a discounted rate on all National Theatre performances.  Be sure to select the Seniors rate when booking online. Your Seniors Card must be presented when booking or collecting tickets.

Concession Card Holders

Our Concession rate is available to the following:

  • Australian Pensioners
  • Health Care Cardholders
  • Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance Members
  • Customers using Auslan or Audio Description services

Proof of eligibility is required when booking or collecting tickets.

Terms & Conditions

View our Terms & Conditions
View our Privacy Policy

View all National Theatre Melboure policies: All Venue Policies


The National Theatre is located amongst a selection of St Kilda’s finest restaurants and bars. The tourist favourite Acland street is a short stroll away featuring countless options for food and drink. We’ve teamed up with a few of our favourite restaurants (listed below) to bring you 10-15% off your meal with any show purchase!

Bazar Dish

Barzar Lounge

19a Carlisle St, St Kilda
Phone: 9534 6774
View Website
(Present your National Theatre ticket for 15% off)

Hemp Dish

Hemp Kitchen

1/173-177 Barkly St, St Kilda
Phone: 0431 759 811
View Website
(Proudly 100% gluten free dishes)

Rococo Table


85-92 Acland St, St Kilda
Phone: 9525 3232
View Website
(Present your National Theatre ticket for 10% off)