Prithvi Theatre is one of Mumbai's best known theatres. It belongs to the Kapoor family, one of the most influential actor/director families in Bollywood. The theatre is named after Prithviraj Kapoor who first founded 'Prithvi Theatres', a travelling theatre company in 1944. The company ran for sixteen years. In 1978 Prithvi Theatre opened in Juhu, Mumbai by Prithiviraj's son and daughter-in-law, actors Shashi Kapoor and Jennifer Kapoor.
The Prithvi theatre company was established in 1993. It is now run by Prithviraj's grandchildren, Kunal Kapoor & Sanjna Kapoor. Today, it has daily theatre shows (closed Mondays), hosts an annual Summertime programme of workshops and plays for children, and an annual Theatre festival.
Prithvi Theatres was founded in 1944, by Prithviraj Kapoor, as a travelling troupe with 150 members, which staged productions across India. Its maiden performance was Kalidasa's classic "Shakuntala". In subsequent years the theatre staged some 2,662 plays such as "Deewar" (Wall), "Pathan" (a community comprising Hindus and Muslims of North India), "Ghaddar" (Traitor), "Aahuthi" (Offering), "Kalaakar" (Artist), "Paisa" (Money) and "Kisaan" (Farmer). Prithviraj starred as the lead actor in every show. His work in the Indian film industryfunded the activities of the company
Prithviraj Kapoor’s dream was to have a permanent place for his theatre company. In 1962 he managed to lease a plot of land in Juhu on which to create a theatre space. Unfortunately his ill-health and subsequent death in 1972 delayed his dream turning into reality. The year he died the lease on the land expired and was offered on sale to his family.
Shashi Kapoor and his wife Jennifer decided to make Prithviraj’s dream a reality by buying the land, and setting up the 'Shri Prithviraj Kapoor Memorial Trust & Research Foundation' in his memory with the intention of building a space to promote Hindi theatre and the performing arts.