There were three different types of venues for Elizabethan plays: Inn yards, Playhouses and Open Air Amphitheatres a. Inn- yards: The Elizabethan Theatres started in the cobbled courtyards of Inns – they were called Inn-yards. As many as 500 people would attend play performances.
Elizabethan acting troupes travelled the country and sought lodgings at inns or taverns and before long entrepreneurs, like James Burbage, started to produce plays at inn-yards – a popular and profitable idea! Burbage would negotiate with the tavern owner, or vintner, in order to stage a performance at the inn. The plays attracted more customers so everyone shared in the profit. In 1576,It was the idea of James Burbage to construct the first purpose-built theatre – it was called ‘The Theatre’.
-Cause of declining Inn yards: * The vast number of people included undesirables, including thieves, harlots and pickpockets * There were disturbances and fights * Local people, especially those in London, which had an air of anonymity unlike the English villages, complained to officials b. Playhouse: A Playhouse was a small, private, indoor hall. Playhouses were open to anyone who would pay but more expensive with more select audiences. The audience capacity of the playhouse was up to 500 people. It was produced indoors to ensure that plays could also be produced during the cold winter months. The indoor theatres called playhouses were born. The playhouses helped the acting troupes considerably as playhouses allowed for an all year round profession, not one restricted to the summer at the mercy of the English weather. c. Amphitheatre: James Burbage built the first Elizabethan amphitheatre in 1576 following the huge success of the plays performed in Inn-yards. The Theatre was built in a similar style, but on a smaller scale, to the Roman Amphitheatres. James Burbage was keen to cash in on the profits made by the plays being performed in Elizabethan