Where we are sitting formerly was a wetland area belonging to two villages Thach Tan and Tay Luong – Phuc Lan – Tho Xuong District. In 1899, the city council held a meeting under the chairmanship of Richard – Hanoi’s envoy who proposed to build up the Theatre.
Two architects Harlay and Broyer are designers of the Project. The design was under much modification due to comments of many other architects.
The works started on June 7, 1901, under technical supervision of an urban inspector – architect Harlay – one of the two designers. The persons in charge of construction were two men Mr. Savelon and Mr. Travary.
The embankment was very strenuous. 300 workers were working every day, with 35,000 bamboo poles and concrete blocks of 90cm thick. The works needed to use more than 12000m3 of materials, nearly 600 tons of iron and steel, with construction area of 2600m2, 87m in length, 30m in width and the highest point of the building is 34m from the ground surface. The façade of the building is very superficial with many steps overlooking the large square (now known as the August Revolution Square). The long-running steps in front of the Theatre are arranged the place to pick up the cars of colonial officials.
The designers of the works had got references of ancient Greek architecture styles combined with style of Tuylory castle and Paris Opera House to create a separate architectural building.
Inside the theater, there were a wide stage and a main auditorium with area of 24x24m, containing 870 seats which were leather covered and velvet covered at somewhere. There were many small rooms for individual tickets on the middle floor. The middle stair to the 2nd floor was a large hall. Extra stairs and hallway are located at both sides. Behind the theater, it was an administration room, including 18 suites for makeup, 2 rooms for training, 1 library and meeting room. The front on the second floor was a splendid mirror room.