Reopening of the Imperial Theatre : a gem returned to the public
In addition to the theatre itself and the Imperial foyer, which have been on show since 2014, during the summer season, you can now discover the stage sets. In fact you can admire the theatre as it was in the time of Napoleon III and Eugenie. In the winter, the stage and adjoining salons will be accessible. It reveals the secrets of how a theatre operated in the Second Empire. Periodically, dramatised tours recreate the splendour of Imperial festivities.
Guided tour of the Imperial Theatre
The curtain rises on the Imperial Theatre! Discover not only the auditorium, but also, a wonderful new feature, the sets fitted on the stage and the adjoining lounges! Come and admire the theatre as Napoleon III and Eugenie knew it.
Every day except Tuesdays
Duration : 1 hour
The Renaissance of a Masterpiece: an exemplary restoration
The second phase of the restoration of the Imperial Theatre at the château de Fontainebleau was completed in June 2019, revealing to the public gaze one of its most secret gems.
A historic agreement was sealed between France and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in Fontainebleau on 27 April 2007. 150 years after the inauguration of the Imperial Theatre, an extraordinary restoration project was initiated thanks to the generosity of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates. In 12 years and 10 million euros time the work of safeguarding and enhancing this architectural masterpiece of the Second Empire will have been completed.
Five years of study allowed curators and architects to draw up plans for this ambitious project divided into two phases. Completed in April 2014, the first phase of work focused on the restoration of the auditorium, the vestibule and the Imperial Foyer. The second phase was aimed at restoring the stage and its machinery as well as the peripheral spaces and upper levels.
The restoration programme focused on preserving original materials. Nearly 80% have been preserved, both decor and furniture. An exemplary restoration project to restore this piece of heritage to its former glory, with remarkable attention to authentic details. This has made the theatre at Fontainebleau a museum space like no other, dedicated to the performing arts and decorative arts of the Second Empire.