Tehran Tourist Attractions 11 Jan 2024 BY Maryam Mahmoudian

Tehran City Theater | Your Ultimate Guide

In the heart of bustling Tehran, amidst towering skyscrapers and vibrant markets, lies a haven for the soul: Tehran City Theater (تئاتر شهر تهران).

This iconic circular building isn't just a landmark; it's a portal to a world of artistic passion, where contemporary dramas mingle with ancient traditions.

Tehran City Theater's striking architecture, a blend of modern and traditional elements, sets the perfect tone for your artistic encounter. As you wander through its inviting halls, the echoes of countless captivating performances linger in the air, whispering tales of love, laughter, and the depths of the human experience.

Prepare to be swept away by the raw energy of Iranian actors, their voices resonating with the joys and sorrows of the human condition. Witness the masterful storytelling, where ancient myths and contemporary narratives intertwine, leaving you with a deeper understanding of Iranian culture and its rich tapestry of experiences.


A History of Tehran City Theater

2. A History of Tehran City Theater

Before the City Theater graced the heart of Tehran, a different kind of gathering thrived in its place. The "Baladiye Guest House," or "Shahrdari Cafe," built in 1920, was a vibrant hub for leisure and entertainment. Show programs, from circus acts to music and plays, unfolded in the open area around the cafe, drawing Tehran's citizens to laughter and shared experiences. This cultural oasis even attracted prominent writers and artists like Forough Farrokhzad and Jalal Al Ahmed, solidifying its role as a breeding ground for creativity.

But the 1960s ushered in a new era for drama in Tehran. As theater groups blossomed, the lack of dedicated performance spaces became a pressing concern. The need for a fully equipped theater, a true sanctuary for the art form, was undeniable. Enter the vision of Farah Pahlavi, the last Queen of Iran, who championed the creation of a cultural landmark.

In 1967, renowned architect Ali Sardar Afkhami, a student of the legendary Hooshang Seyhoun, laid the foundation for what would become the City Theater. Five years and meticulous design later, the complex rose in Tehran's vibrant student park, ready to become a beacon of artistic expression.

2. History of Tehran City Theater

On a crisp Saturday evening in February 1972, the curtain rose on the City Theater's grand opening. Anton Chekhov's "Cherry Orchard," directed by Arbi Avanesian and starring a constellation of celebrated actors, marked the birth of a new era. Chaharsu Hall and Hall Number Two soon followed, each adding to the complex's evolving landscape.

Over time, the City Theater blossomed. New halls, sections, and open spaces organically joined the original structure, creating a vibrant hub for theatrical exploration. Today, it stands as a testament to the power of artistic vision. Its iconic circular building, a harmonious blend of modern and traditional design, is a beloved landmark in Tehran's cityscape.

More importantly, the City Theater remains a thriving center for Iranian drama. Its diverse repertoire, from contemporary plays to classical adaptations, caters to all tastes and ages. The energy of its actors, their voices resonating with the joys and sorrows of the human condition, continues to captivate audiences.

| Read more: Valiasr Street - A Traveler's Guide


Tehran City Theater's Architectural Marvel

4. Tehran City Theater

The City Theater of Tehran is not just a performing arts venue; it's an architectural masterpiece that seamlessly blends elements from various historical and cultural influences. Its unique circular form and intricate details speak volumes about Iran's rich artistic heritage and its willingness to embrace modern design. The infrastructure of the City Theater building has an area equal to 5600 square meters, which is built on four floors with a height of 15 meters and a diameter of 36 meters.

| Related: Iranian Modern Architecture - Tradition & Innovation Blend


Drawing Inspiration from History:

  1. Toghrol Tower: This 12th-century monument, located in city of Rey, Iran, is evident in the theater's cylindrical structure. The use of columns around the building, reminiscent of Persepolis, adds a sense of grandeur and evokes a tent-like feel, echoing the nomadic traditions of the region.
  2. Minimalism of the 13th-14th centuries: The City Theater's facade features abstract decorative motifs with tiles and bricks, a subtle nod to the minimalist architecture of the late medieval period. This integration of traditional elements adds depth and character to the modern structure.

5. Tehran City Theater

A Blend of East and West:

  1. Circular form: The Theater’s circular shape, while reminiscent of ancient Iranian theaters, also draws inspiration from iconic Western structures like the Pantheon and the Colosseum. This fusion of influences creates a unique and globally-appealing architectural language.
  2. Geometric and angular details: Above the columns and under the ceiling, the facade features geometric patterns formed by square and triangle tiles. These angular elements add a touch of modernity and stand in contrast to the circular form, creating a dynamic visual tension.

6. Tehran City Theater

A Unique Experience:

  1. Uniformity from every angle: Unlike most buildings, the City Theater appears identical from all sides. This consistency creates a sense of unity and reinforces the circular theme that runs throughout the design.
  2. Material choices: Brick, instead of the ubiquitous glass and travertine, is the primary building material. This choice further emphasizes the connection to traditional Iranian architecture and lends the structure a warm, earthy feel.
  3. Integration of interior and exterior: Stepping into the theater, visitors are immediately struck by the seamless flow of the interior and exterior spaces. Certain elements of the facade are echoed within, creating a cohesive conceptual link.
  4. Circular layout and internal harmony: The circular plan dictates the arrangement of the internal parts, ensuring a sense of parallelism and proportion throughout. This meticulous planning creates a visually pleasing and harmonious experience.
  5. Mysterious ambience: The interior decorations are artfully designed to enhance the building's artistic character. The circular layout and the presence of small, enclosed spaces contribute to a sense of mystery and intrigue, inviting exploration and discovery.
  6. Openness to the city: Unlike other theaters in Iran, the City Theater boasts an open, fence-free design. This allows the surrounding area, including the vibrant Daneshjoo Park and Valiasr Street, to become an extension of the theater complex, attracting audiences and fostering a sense of community.

| Discover: Cinema Museum of Iran in Ferdows Garden, Tehran


The City Theater's Diverse Halls

The Tehran City Theater's vibrant heart beats not just within one stage, but across a tapestry of diverse performance spaces. Each hall, with its unique personality and history, offers a platform for artistic expression in all its forms.


Main Hall

7. Main Hall

The Main Hall of the City Theater reigns with its majestic capacity of 579 seats. Breathtaking performances come alive on its stage, captivating audiences with the power of drama, musicals, and grand productions.


Chaharsou Hall

8. Chaharsou Hall

A chameleon of a space, Chaharsou's flexible layout adapts to every performance, seamlessly shifting between intimate gatherings and lively productions for up to 400 audience members.

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Qashqai Hall

9. Qashqai Hall

Named after the legendary director Shahid Hossein Qashqai, this intimate space exudes a sense of history, hosting thought-provoking plays and experimental works.


Salon Sayeh (Shadow Hall)

10. Salon Sayeh

A haven for shadow puppetry and multimedia performances, Salon Sayeh invites audiences to enter a world of light and magic, weaving captivating tales on its darkened stage.


Hall of Fame

This versatile space transcends theatrical boundaries, welcoming conferences, seminars, and official meetings, often celebrating the achievements of Iran's cultural icons.


Theater Workshop

A dedicated space for nurturing new talent, the workshop fosters creativity and experimentation, offering a platform for emerging artists to hone their craft.



11. Library

The specialized library on the fourth floor of the City Theater building houses a collection of books and documents related to drama and is considered an invaluable resource for students studying theater and performing arts. With approximately 25,000 books and over a thousand active members, this library was established in 1366 and was formally organized under the guidance of Dr. Ali Rafiei and with the assistance of Mansour Khalaj, a prominent teacher and theater researcher. It contains brochures detailing past performances and a comprehensive list of all theater productions in the city from previous years.

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Open-Air Stage

12. Open-Air Stage

Step outside the building and you'll find yourself in the embrace of Daneshjoo Park. This open space transforms into a vibrant stage for "ambient theater," where student productions and experimental works thrive under the open sky.


Tehran City Theater Shows

13. Tehran City Theater Shows

You have several options for finding out about Tehran City Theater tickets price and show schedules:

  1. Follow the City Theater on Instagram for regular updates on schedules, new shows, special events, and ticket sale announcements.
  2. Call the City Theater box office at +98 21 6670 4853 or +98 21 6674 7584 during business hours (Saturday to Wednesday, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM) to inquire about schedules and book tickets over the phone.
  3. Some online ticketing platforms in Iran, such as Tiwall, may sell tickets for City Theater shows. However, these options might not be available for all shows and may have additional fees.
  4. Visit the City Theater box office in person (address: Valiasr Street, Daneshjoo Park, Tehran) during business hours to purchase tickets directly.

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Tehran City Theater Location and Access

Nestled in the heart of Tehran, the City Theater is easy to reach, offering several options to suit your travel preferences.


Address: Valiasr Crossroads, Enghelab St., Tehran


By Subway:

  1. The most convenient option!
  2. Take Line 3 or Line 4 to the City Theater metro station, which is located directly in front of the building.
  3. This is the fastest and most affordable way to reach the theater, especially during busy traffic hours.

| Read the full guide: Tehran Metro - Lines, Stations, and More


By Bus:

  1. For those coming from west or east Tehran, consider the Azadi-Tehranpars BRT buses.
  2. These buses stop at the Valiasr intersection station, also right in front of the City Theater.
  3. This is a good option if you're coming from further away and want a direct connection without transfers.


By Taxi:

  1. Taxis are readily available throughout Tehran and can offer a comfortable and flexible option.
  2. Inform your driver you're heading to the City Theater (Teatr Shahr) on Valiasr Road, near the Valiasr Crossroads.
  3. Be aware that traffic in Tehran can be congested, so factor in extra time during rush hour.



  1. If you're staying near the city center, the City Theater is a pleasant walkable distance.
  2. From Valiasr Crossroads, head northwest through the Daneshjoo Park, and you'll see the striking circular building emerge.
  3. This option allows you to enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the area and soak in the sights of the city.


Additional Tips:

  • The City Theater is located in the heart of Tehran's cultural district, with several museums, cafes, and restaurants nearby.
  • Consider arriving early to avoid queues and secure the best seats for your chosen performance.
  • The surrounding Daneshjoo Park offers a relaxing pre-show atmosphere with benches, fountains, and a lively student vibe.


Tehran City Theater Nearby Attractions

14. Marble Palace

  1. Marble Palace: Located in Tehran, the Marble Palace is a historic building with intricate architectural designs. It was constructed during the Qajar era and is known for its beautiful marble interiors. Today, it serves as a museum, showcasing various art collections and exhibitions.
  2. Shahrazad Theater Hall: This theater hall is a part of Tehran's cultural scene, hosting various theatrical performances, including plays, dramas, and other cultural events. It provides a platform for artists and performers to showcase their talents.
  3. Chaharsoo Cinema: A cinema located in Tehran that screens a diverse range of films, including both Iranian and international movies. It's a popular spot for movie enthusiasts to enjoy a variety of cinematic experiences.
  4. Vahdat Hall: Another significant venue for performing arts in Tehran, Vahdat Hall hosts concerts, theatrical performances, and cultural events. It's known for its acoustics and serves as a stage for both local and international artists.


Tehran City Theater Restaurants and Cafes

15. Tehran City Theater Restaurants and Cafes

  1. Buffalo Cafe Restaurant: American-style diner with outdoor seating.
  2. Amordad Restaurant: Traditional Iranian cuisine in a vibrant atmosphere.
  3. Vaziri Restaurant: Popular spot for authentic Persian kebabs and stews.

     | Related: Best Restaurants in Tehran

Where to Stay Near Tehran City Theater

16. Where to Stay Near Tehran City Theater

  1. Espinas Hotel: Elegant 4-star option for a luxurious stay.
  2. Hana Boutique Hotel: Charming boutique hotel with artistic flair.
  3. Hoize hotel: Modern and comfortable choice for budget-conscious travelers.
  4. Rodaki Hotel: Convenient location and friendly service.
  5. Razi Apartment Hotel: Self-catering apartment ideal for longer stays.

| Related: Best Hotels in Tehran + Price


Bottom Line

More than 50 years have passed since the first curtain rose on this artistic haven. From the legendary actors who graced its stage to the groundbreaking plays that challenged and inspired, Tehran City Theater has witnessed the very heartbeat of Iranian theater. Its walls resonate with laughter, tears, and the echoes of countless conversations, whispered secrets, and dreams born under the spotlight.

So, whether you're an avid theatergoer or a curious traveler seeking a glimpse into the soul of Iran, step through the City Theater's doors and let the magic of the stage wash over you.

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