A theatre sat on the site as early as 1765. The Drury Lane company was in residence on the site from 1765 to 1771 in an auditorium of 1800 seats. It reopened as English Opera House. It was renamed Theatre Royal English Opera. The structure burnt down in 1830.
In 1834, the Royal Lyceum Theatre opened. In 1902, it was partly demolished and rebuilt, leaving the 1834 facade. It reopened in 1904.
It was threatened with demolition in 1938 but was saved and seven years later it became the Mecca Ballroom. It returned to legit use in 1982 and is now completely refurbished.
In 1968, a redevelopment of Covent Garden was proposed by the Greater London Council. Under threat of demolition were five theaters: the Garrick, Vaudeville, Adelphi, Lyceum and Duchess theatres. A campaign called Save London Theatres was launched by theatre owners, the Musicians' Union and Equity. The campaign was successful and the redevelopment was shelved.