The National Theatre is a 783 seat Australian theatre and theatrical arts school located in the Melbourne bayside suburb of St Kilda, on the corner of Barkly and Carlisle Streets. The building was constructed in 1921 as The Victory Theatre (3000 seat cinema), rebuilt as 2550 seat cinema in 1928, finally converted to a live venue 1972/4 with 783 seats.
The original National Theatre Movement (current owners) was established in 1935 by soprano Gertrude Johnson. After returning from an overseas career that included performing at Convent Garden, Miss Johnson was dismayed at the lack of training and performing opportunities for Australian artists in their own country. To that end the National Theatre included an opera school(1935), drama school(1936) and ballet school (1939). Production Companies (three Arts Festivals) ran through the 1940s and 1950s.