Carré Theatre

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Carré Theatre

The Royal Theater Carré (Dutch: Koninklijk Theater Carré) is a Neo-Renaissance theatre in Amsterdam, located near the river Amstel. When the theatre was founded in 1887, it was originally meant as a permanent circus building. Currently, it is mainly used for musicals, cabaret performances and pop concerts. Carré is located next to the Amstel, close to Waterlooplein. Its address is Amstel 115.

Carré is closely connected to the family Carré. This family group gave their first performances by the end of the 18th century and in 1863 they came to the Netherlands for the first time. In 1866 the German circus director Oscar Carré finally got permission to build his first stone theatre, replacing the Rooseboom windmill on the Onbekendegracht canal. On 3 December 1887 this building was officially opened. In the beginning, it was just a wooden building with a stone façade. It was immediately a big success. At first Carré was only used during the winter, the winter circus of Oscar Carré then performed but during the rest of the year this group travelled and the theatre was empty. However, in 1893 the theatre was rented by Dutch theatre producer Frits van Haarlem for his vaudeville shows in the summer, which meant that there were performances during the entire year. The shows became very successful, thus changing the circus building to a theatre for all forms of popular entertainment. Carré turned form a circus into a variété theatre (Dutch version of a Music Hall).

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