From Thursday 1 March, Scotland’s largest independent theatre organisation, Festival City Theatres Trust, is changing its name to Capital Theatres.
The charitable trust that runs the Festival and King’s Theatres and The Studio, is rebranding to a name change that reflects the growth of the organisation and the need to establish an identifiable ‘home’ brand for its three Edinburgh city centre theatre venues and for the learning and participation activity that operates across them.
The Empire Theatre Trust was established in 1991 to transform and run the operation of the old Empire Theatre into the grand Festival Theatre of today. It was re-named in 1998 as Festival City Theatres Trust when it took over the management of the city centre venue, the King’s Theatre, from the local authority. The Trust’s expansion continued in 2013 with the opening of The Studio on Potterrow, a rehearsal and performance space built to the rear of the Festival Theatre.
With the change of name to Capital Theatres, the organisation is creating a unifying brand providing a more prominent overarching brand for the organisation that will become recognised with partners locally, nationally and internationally.
As the Trust has expanded the programmes in its theatres, it has worked with its audiences to create accessible, dementia friendly theatres with learning and participation activity including theatre talks and dance workshops to engage with audiences of all ages. Over the years it has consistently invested in its buildings and its customer services to create a quality of experience that visitors can rely on.
Chief Executive Duncan Hendry says, “We feel this name change will simplify the organisational name, will establish a recognisable brand that our customers can relate to and make it easier for us to communicate our charitable and educational ambitions.”
The rebrand as Capital Theatres will be supported by refreshed brand identities for its three outlets in the heart of the world’s leading festival city, The Festival Theatre, The King’s Theatre and The Studio. The new brand identity for the Festival Theatre reflects its contemporary façade and the grand sweep of its public spaces. The new King’s Theatre identity pays homage to the building’s iconic outline and its rich cultural heritage, and the frame of The Studio logo suggests the flexibility of a white box where anything is possible. Across the three venues, prestigious local, national and international companies are welcomed to present a diverse programme of drama, dance, musical theatre, children’s shows and pantomime.
Re-naming as Capital Theatres will also assist with fundraising for the£25 million redevelopment project of the King’s Theatre whose construction work expected to start in the autumn of 2021 with a proposed closure period of 20 months. The project plans to transform the theatre into an accessible, all-day arts venue with new spaces created for learning and heritage activities as well as hospitality.