The Theatre

Theatre with full audience

The Theatre is our unique and historic auditorium able to accommodate venue hire bookings of up to 400 people.  

The Theatre resides at the heart of the Royal Institution in Mayfair, home to lectures, discourses and world-changing discoveries since 1802 and made famous to modern audiences through the televised Christmas Lectures.  

It is an ideal corporate event venue for presentations, awards, launches and conferences and features an elegant heritage aesthetic alongside the latest presentation technology. 

Conference venue London

Our auditorium was created to facilitate learning, discussion and invention. Its amphitheatre design places your conference speakers at the centre of attention and provides an immersive event experience for your guests.  

Within the auditorium hire, you'll have access to our in-house AV and a dedicated technician to support your needs. The Theatre's steep rake, fixed capacity of 400 people and precise design ensures every guest has a perfect view. By utilising the two- tiered design, the Theatre can be hired for big or small groups.  

The Theatre is also a great filming location for your next livestreamed conference, hybrid presentation or even corporate video.  

Host your next conference in the theatre at the Royal Institution and bring your guests to one of the most historic conference and event venues in Central London.  

Historic lecture theatre London

The Theatre is an intimate space at the heart of the Royal Institution where many great scientific minds have presented and shared their research.  

Over 25,000 lectures have been delivered here to audiences from professionals to the scientists of tomorrow.  

Many world-changing scientific discoveries have been revealed here, including Humphry Davy announcing the existence of sodium, Michael Faraday sharing his field theory of electromagnetism, and JJ Thomson announcing the existence of the fundamental particle later called the electron.  

Charles Darwin himself has sat in the audience of the Theatre, and in 1872, the poet Lord Tennyson watched a lecture here by William Henry Preece, featuring the first UK demonstration of a phonographic recording which included the playing back of one of his poems.  

Other notable scientific firsts announced in this historic space include the demonstration of a telephone (also in in Preece’s 1872 lecture), the demonstration of William Henry Fox Talbot’s techniques for photography of a still image in 1839, Edward Muybridge’s demonstration of his moving image of a horse in 1839, and the first colour photograph demonstrated by James Clerk Maxwell in 1861.  

In more recent years, scientists who have spoken in the theatre at the Royal Institution include David Attenborough; planetary scientist Carl Sagan; primatologist and anthropologist Jane Goodall; and the mathematician after which the boson sub-atomic particle was named, Satyendra Nath Bose. 

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