"Koninklijk Theater Carré" is a theater on the Amstel river in central Amsterdam.
Nowadays the Carré stage is used mainly for musicals, pop concerts, theatrical plays and cabaret. Sometimes it is also used for performances by the Dutch National Opera and Ballet which has its own theater nearby.
Carré also contains a restaurant named after its founder, Oscar Carré, who was a late nineteenth, early twentieth century circus entrepreneur from a large German circus family.
When it first opened in 1893, the original name of this venue was "Circus Carré". Its original function was to be a permanent location for the Royal Circus led by Oscar Carré. This also explains the characteristic architecture of the Carré theater, where three quarters of the seats are grouped around a central arena.
In 1893 the Circus Carré also put vaudeville or music hall theater on the program. This turned out to be a success. In years to come this type of theater would come to dominate the theater's program, until eventually the name officially changed from Circus Carré to Theater Carré. Although the focus clearly shifted from circus to theatre, circuses of different owners still perform there from time to time up to the present day.
In the 1960's a new owner of the Carré theater was actively making plans for its demolition. Urged on by local artists the Amsterdam municipality prevented the execution of these plans and in 1977 bought the theater.
In 1987 the predicate "Royal" was granted to the historic theater, officially making it "Koninklijk Theater Carré". Several big renovations followed in the 1990's and the early years of the 21st century, making it the modern theater it is today.