National Arts Theatre

Nigeria’s National Arts Theatre: Story of the 46-year-old theatre

With an exterior beautifully designed to look like a military hat, the National Arts Theatre is a majestic structure that sits at Iganmu Lagos. The theatre was built in 1976 in preparation for the 1977 Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC)to be a focal point for the celebration of Nigerian art and culture during the military regime of Olusegun Obasanjo. 

The theatre, which is one of Nigeria’s best masterpieces and a major Lagos attraction, has an auditorium that can seat about 3,000 people and a conference hall that can seat about 800 people. It is said to resemble Bulgaria’s Palace of Culture and Sports, with the National Arts Theatre being the larger of the two.

The National Arts Theatre is a significant symbol of Nigeria’s renaissance and periods of local and regional art history. And continues to stand tall and proud to this day. It has served as a major events venue, relaxation center, and tourist attraction for both nationals and foreigners since its inception. 

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