The Gaiety in its current form was built in 1899 and opened in 1900. However it did have a life before, in the shape of the Pavilion which was opened in 1893 as a large hall with a small stage at one end. This only lasted six short seasons and then closed where-upon the owners of the Pavilion, the Palace and Derby Castle Company, commissioned the renowned Theatre architect Frank Matcham to convert the building into a Opera House and Theatre.
The Gaiety opened on July 16th 1900 with a west end production of "The Telephone Girl" starring Miss Ada Blanche. The most successful period of the Gaiety was between 1900 and 1914, also boom years for the Islands tourism industry. The First World War brought an end to the Edwardian era and a change in the whole way of British Life.
The future was not to be easy and despite the installation of cinema equipment in the 20's and experiments like the 1938 ice show, the theatre became less and less commercial and the owners less inclined to spend the large sums necessary to maintain the fabric of the building.
Time appeared to be running out when in 1971 the Isle Of Man Government acquired the freehold of the Gaiety and by 1976 set about the mammoth task of restoration. The architect in charge of the first phase of the project Victor Glasstone proved a most fortunate choice both for the Gaiety and the Isle Of Man. With very limited resources he recommended that everything possible should be done to put the Gaiety back as near as possible to its original scheme of decoration. A point taken a step further by Mervin Stokes the now General Manager of the Gaiety Theatre who has been employed in the theatre in various capacities for over 30 years.
Mervin, along with the Department Of Tourism and the Friends Of the Gaiety, was instrumental in launching the 10 year restoration project. With the generous guidance of theatre consultant Dr. David Wilmore and Charles Sentence (Chairman restoration sub-committee), the result to date is most satisfactory.
An important part of the Islands heritage has been preserved for future generations. The theatre is currently a thriving centre for the performing arts on the Isle of Man and hosts all sorts of events both professional and amateur.