Theatre Royal, Dumfries

This photograph was part of the first group of images of locations associated with Robert Burns to be made specifically for website use. It was taken using a 'conventional' SLR camera (not digital) on 35mm colour transparency film. The film was then sent to a photolab for processing; on its return the frames to be used were selected and these were sent back to the photolab for digitisation. They were written to a Photo CD Portfolio II disk as .pcd files, which was then passed to the Scottish Cultural Resources Access Network for uploading to their website. In all the images moved through the postal system five times.   This is an image of  the Theatre Royal, Dumfries. When Robert Burns first settled in Dumfries, theatrical performances were given in the old Assembly Rooms. By 1790, however, the actor manager George Stephens Sutherland made approaches to certain men of influence suggesting that the town should have a permanent theatre.   Robert Burns was an avid supporter of this proposal and the founding spirit of the Theatre Royal was Robert Riddell, who was a close friend of the poet. The cost of the building was raised by subscription and it opened on 29 September 1792. Burns was a regular patron; he was on the free list for admission thanks to his friend Riddell and would sit in the pit.   The theatre itself was designed in the classical style with an external portico. The auditorium had a pit, a dress circle of boxes and behind that a gallery. It could accommodate an audience of up to 550. It was radically altered in 1876 in accordance with Victorian tastes and is now the only surviving Georgian theatre in Scotland.
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35mm colour transparency
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Dumfries & Galloway Council
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