Rose Theatre for sale

Feb 17 2023 | By More

£3 million price tag on New Town theatre

The Rose Theatre at 204 Rose Street in Edinburgh’s New Town has been put up for sale with a guide price of £3 million by its owner, the Danish choreographer and director Peter Schaufuss.

Schaufuss bought the former Charlotte Methodist Chapel in 2016 and opened it for the Fringe in 2017 after a £1.8 million conversion project created theatre spaces over five floors.

Peter Schaufuss outside Rose Theatre in 2018. Pic: Greg Macvean.

Peter Schaufuss is selling the venue as a going concern. He said: “This is a unique opportunity to obtain one of the most significant buildings along Edinburgh’s world-famous Rose Street in the historical New Town, I sincerely hope that it will be bought by another creative operator within the industry that can take the venue further forward.”

The former church was opened in 1912 and sold by its congregation a century later. In 2014 an application to turn it into a super pub was turned down by the council, as was a 2016 application to turn it into a bar, restaurant and hotel complex, leaving the way open to Schaufuss’ purchase.

Following its conversion from a place of worship, the venue now operates on five levels. A 140 seat basement theatre and bar; the ground floor foyer with box office and theatre cafe; the first floor 82 seat cabaret bar and the second floor main stage with a maximum capacity of 340.

The Rose Theatre’s main theatre space.

The third floor has the postage-stamp 50 seat Attic theatre and rehearsal space, which can also be used as a 100 seat studio theatre, complete with its own dressing rooms and a self contained caretakers flat.

Since opening, the Rose Theatre has been used by Schaufuss for his ballet school and by the MGA theatre school. Most of its public operations have been during the Fringe when it was initially programmed by Gilded Ballon and latterly by Captivate Theatre.

Rose Theatre – the cabaret space

In 2017 Schaufuss bought a second New Town venue, the St Stephens centre on St Stephens Street. He first converted the main floor to the Ashton Hall, where he presented a new version of Hamlet starring Sir Ian McKellen at the 2022 fringe, and then in Autumn 2022 the basement to the new Ian McKellen Theatre.

“Running two amazing year-round venues has just become too much for me,” Schaufuss said. “I want to concentrate on transforming Saint Stephens into a world-class venue, my vision when I first saw the building in 2014, purchasing it in 2017.

“I am a creative person not a landlord – and that’s what I have become by default.”

Full particulars of the sale are on the Rettie website here:

Rose Theatre – Basement venue.

Rose Theatre – Third floor rehearsal space/Studio Theatre

A birds-eye view of the Rose Theatre at the West end of Rose Street, with Edinburgh castle in the background.


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