The fourth theatre on the site is the oldest theatre in England still in use.
The first opened in 1663 as Theatre Royal, Brydges Street and boasted 2188 seats. It closed in 1666 because of the plague and the Great Fire. It was damaged by fire in 1672.
The second theatre was designed by Sir Christopher Wren. It opened in 1674 as Theatre Royal in Drury Lane. It had 2000 seats. It closed in 1676 and again in 1709. In 1775, major alterations were carried out. In 1780 it was damaged during the Gordon Riots.
It was rebuilt, making it the third theatre to stand on the site, opening in 1794. However, it burnt to the ground in 1809.
The present structure was built three years later. A major renovation was carried out in 1921-1922.