1.295 McPherson Playhouse

The Pantages Theatre opened in 1914 as part of the Pantages chain of theatres. In 1962, it was bequeathed to the people of Victoria by Thomas Shanks McPherson. In 1965, it was renamed the McPherson Playhouse by the City of Victoria.

Today, it is:

  • A civic theatre available for rent by performing arts groups and other organizations
  • Home for numerous performing arts groups including the Victoria Operatic Society and Kaleidoscope Children's Theatre

The McPherson Playhouse also provides box office services in conjunction with the Royal Theater.


In March 1998, at the request of Victoria, Saanich and Oak Bay, the Royal Theatre was transferred to the CRD as a local service. The administration and operation of both the Royal Theatre and the McPherson Playhouse was through the Royal & McPherson Theatres Society (RMTS). In order to align ownership with the operating of the Theatres, the City of Victoria asked the CRD Board to assume ownership, operation and administration of the McPherson Playhouse as well.

On March 10, 1999, the CRD Board adopted Bylaw No 2685 "McPherson Playhouse Local Service Area Establishment Bylaw No 1, 1999" which established a local service for pleasure, recreation and community use, including the McPherson Playhouse and all facilities and concessions associated with the McPherson Playhouse Boundaries. The service continues to be authorized under Bylaw No 2685.


On behalf of the City of Victoria and the CRD, the McPherson Playhouse, along with the Royal Theatre, is operated and maintained by the Royal & McPherson Theatres Society (RMTS). Operations include complete operating and management duties, long range planning, annual budget preparation, endeavouring to obtain capital grant funding, and acquiring relevant insurance policies as outlined. The theatre continues to be owned by the City of Victoria as a capital asset. The CRD Finance & Technology Department collaborates with the RMTS and is responsible for reporting to the CRD Board.


The budget for this service (building capital and operating) is established through an annual CRD Financial Planning process and is funded by an annual property value tax levied within the City of Victoria. For financial information on the rental revenue and expenditures of the contracted manager/operator of the theatre, please visit RMTS.

Additional Information