Welcome back to Watford Palace Theatre! We are delighted to reopen our beautiful Edwardian auditorium and invite you to join us for quality entertainment inside our Covid-secure venue. You may notice some changes since your last visit, which is why we’ve created the list of Frequently Asked Questions and answers below, to detail the steps we have taken to keep you and our staff safe.
COVID-19 Reopening: FAQs
What procedures have been implemented to keep me safe during my visit?
The safety of our guests and staff is paramount to our reopening measures.
Before each shift, every member of staff working in the venue will be assessing their general health and isolating at home should they develop any Coronavirus symptoms, or quarantining if they’ve been advised to do so by NHS Test and Trace. Members of our Front of House team working in public areas of the venue will be wearing face coverings and protective gloves during their shifts.
Upon booking you will be allocated an arrival time which will be printed on your tickets. We ask guests to adhere to these arrival times to help us minimise the flow of traffic inside the building. Please wear a face covering (unless exempt) upon arrival at the theatre, where you will be asked to wait outside the main entrance in the queue on the left or right. Before entering the auditorium, you will be asked to submit to a temperature check, and anyone exhibiting a temperature of 37.8C or above may be refused entry. Your tickets will also be scanned and checked when your full party has arrived before you enter the auditorium. Physical tickets will not be printed so you will be asked to present your e-tickets via mobile device or by quoting your full name and address or order number to help staff locate your booking.
We are required by law to ask every visitor aged over 16 to provide their name and contact details. The easiest way to do this is for all members of your party to scan the Test and Trace QR code which can be found on posters displayed around the venue, using the NHS app. To download the app, please visit: https://www.covid19.nhs.uk/. For our guests who do not use smartphones, we will be offering the opportunity to submit names and contact details using a paper and pen (all pens will be electrostatic cleaned between use).
Throughout the venue, hand sanitisation stations and perspex screens have been installed for your safety. You will also find signage and floor markings detailing how to safely navigate your way around the venue whilst maintaining a minimum 1-metre distance from others outside of your household or support bubble.
Our toilet facilities will be cleaned regularly throughout the day using antiviral cleaning products.
The café will be temporarily closed until further notice, and our bar will be open to facilitate pre-booked food and drink orders only.
Seating inside the auditorium adheres to government guidance, which means that each block of seats has been created to allow for social distancing between parties. Seating consists of separate blocks of different sizes, up to a maximum of 6 seats per party. You will notice when booking your tickets online that you must select all the seats within a particular section to book. Please do not sit with anyone outside of your household or support bubble.
The front row of the stalls is unavailable for purchase to enable a safe gap between the stage and audience, ensuring both your safety and that of our performers.
The auditorium will be deep cleaned between performances and on an increased basis, with contact surfaces being cleaned regularly using antiviral cleaning products.
Will I have to wear a face covering?
We ask that all guests wear a face covering at all times whilst inside the venue, unless exempt for health reasons. You may remove your face covering temporarily whilst seated in the auditorium, for the purposes of consuming food and drink.
Members of staff will also be wearing face coverings and protective gloves during their shifts.
How many people will be in the venue at any one time?
For each show we are selling approximately 55% of our usual capacity, to allow for social distancing. Staffing levels have been constructed to protect everyone within public areas of the venue to a degree that also enables us to facilitate your needs.
How can I purchase tickets?
Tickets can be purchased easily and safely up to 2 hours prior to the start of each performance. Visit our What’s On pages to see our full performance schedule and book. Alternatively, you can telephone our Box Office to book tickets on 01923 225671, between the hours of 10am – 4pm, Monday to Friday.
We are currently accepting card payments only.
Is the Box Office open?
The Box Office is open for telephone and email communications between the hours of 10am – 4pm Monday to Friday. You may contact the Box Office on 01923 225671 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are currently unable to accommodate in-person bookings at the theatre.
Can I purchase tickets on the day?
You can only purchase tickets online and over the phone up until 2 hours before the start of the performance. All tickets have to be pre-booked in advance, we cannot accept walk ups on the day.
How many tickets can I purchase for each show?
You may purchase a maximum of 6 tickets per performance.
Why am I prompted to enter my telephone number upon booking? Don’t you have this on my account? What will you do with this information?
To comply with NHS Test and Trace guidelines, we ask you to confirm your contact telephone number upon booking to ensure we have the most recent information for you.
If requested, your contact telephone will be provided to NHS Test and Trace. We will also use this in accordance with your account preferences, for example to contact you in the event of a performance being cancelled.
I don’t want to purchase all the seats in one block, what can I do?
To keep you and other guests safe, we have enforced Strict Bubble Seating within our venue, which has no centre aisle. We regret therefore that you must select all the seats within a particular bubble for your booking. If the number of seats you require are not available, please try selecting another performance date. Alternatively, our Box Office is open between the hours of 10am – 4pm Monday to Friday for telephone enquiries and can be contacted on 01923 225671.
I want to sit with someone who is outside of my household, is this allowed?
We can only allow audience members to sit with people in their household, or support bubble.
Will there be provisions for people in wheelchairs?
Yes, each performance has a socially distanced provision in the stalls for those in wheelchairs. We are offering free companion tickets as usual, provided they are within the same household or support bubble.
If you wish to take advantage of a wheelchair and companion space, please contact the Box office on 01923 225671 between the hours of 10am – 4pm Monday to Friday.
Are there any extra access provisions?
There is access to all levels of the theatre via the lift. At this time, we ask guests only to use the lift with members of their household or support bubble.
Easily accessible toilets can be found on the ground and second floors.
Your guide or hearing dog is welcome to stay with you. If you wish to bring your assistance dog, please contact the Box office on 01923 225671 between the hours of 10am – 4pm Monday to Friday.
Can I use a hearing device?
An infra-red sound amplification system operates in certain areas of the auditorium. Headsets are available for each performance and should be booked in advance of your visit by contacting the Box office on 01923 225671 between the hours of 10am – 4pm Monday to Friday.
Your headset will be ready for use when you arrive to take your seats for the performance.
Following each use, our headsets will be quarantined for 24 hours, along with being sanitised before and after each show.
Can I order food and drinks?
If you wish to enjoy food or beverages during your visit with us, please order these online or via the Box Office on 01923 225671, between the hours of 10am – 4pm Monday to Friday. Your pre-ordered drinks will be ready for you when you arrive to take your seats.
At this time, our café will remain closed and the bar will be open to facilitate pre-booked requests only.
How will I receive my tickets?
Once purchased, your tickets will be emailed to you as e-tickets which you can present on your mobile device for admittance into the auditorium. If you do not have a mobile device, please quote either your full name and address or order number when you arrive at the venue and theatre staff will be able to locate your booking.
What do the extra instructions printed on my tickets mean?
On your e-ticket you will find an instruction ‘Enter LEFT/RIGHT door XX minutes BEFORE start of performance’. This is your timed entry slot, which we have allocated to you based on where you are seated in the auditorium. Please endeavour to arrive at the theatre promptly for your entry slot to help us minimise queuing in the venue and to assist staff in the smooth and safe seating of all guests.
Will latecomers be admitted?
We understand that there will occasionally be circumstances against your control which mean that you are unable to arrive at the theatre for the allocated entry slot printed on your tickets. If you are delayed, it is likely that Front of House staff can accommodate your entrance into the auditorium with the next appropriate group.
In the interests of public safety, once a performance has started, we will be unable to admit latecomers into the auditorium.
Can I use the toilet?
Yes! There will be some changes to our toilets since your last visit with us, such as certain cubicles or urinals taken out of use to allow for social distancing methods and there is a limit on the number of people permitted access to the toilets at any one time. Queues will be managed by our Front of House team. Hand dryers will be temporarily out of use, with paper towels offered instead to eliminate the circulation of water droplets in the air.
Can you store a large bag or coat for me during my visit?
We are temporarily discontinuing our cloakroom services so would appreciate it if guests do not bring large items (i.e. items which are too large to take into the auditorium) as there is no storage facility available.
I am vulnerable and have been shielding – should I come to the theatre?
We recommend anyone who has been shielding or feels vulnerable does not attend a performance unless they feel totally confident that it will not put their health at risk. This applies to audiences, and staff.
What should I do if I start feeling ill at the theatre?
If you start experiencing symptoms at a performance, please go home immediately and follow self-isolation guidance.
If I develop Coronavirus symptoms after attending the venue, who should I notify?
If you develop Coronavirus symptoms, you should self-isolate and get tested as quickly as possible. If you test positive, NHS Test and Trace will ask you where you have been recently and who you have seen. They will then get in touch with anyone you may have been in close contact with to advise them on next steps.
Will I be contacted if someone at the venue develops Coronavirus?
If one of your fellow audience members tests positive for Coronavirus, you may receive a call from NHS Test and Trace asking you to get tested or self-isolate. We would ask that you follow any advice they may give you.
Can I get a refund if I have been asked to isolate?
If you or a member of your household has been asked to isolate due to Coronavirus symptoms, please do not attend the theatre. We have updated our Booking Conditions so that you may now contact the Box Office to request a refund or exchange of tickets for this reason.
We’re looking forward to welcoming you to our theatre! Our what3words location is: gravel.lows.office.
You can find us by following the directions below.
On foot, by bicycle and public transport.
The theatre is 10 minutes walk from Watford Junction Station, 12 minutes walk from Watford High Street and 20 minutes from Watford Metropolitan line station.
By bicycle we are 5 minutes from Watford Junction, 6 minutes from the High Street and 10 minutes from the Metropolitan line station.
As we’re close to the centre of Watford, the theatre is close to local bus routes, please check bus timetables when planning your trip.
If you’re using a Sat Nav, our address is 20 Clarendon Road, Watford, WD17 1JZ, however the theatre building itself is pick-up and drop-off only and there is no through road (see Parking below for some parking options that are very close by).
From the M1
Exit at Junction 5, follow the A4008 signposting to Watford Town Centre, which brings you to the Watford ring road by Intu Watford. Watford Palace Theatre is at number 20 Clarendon Road. Clarendon Road is Service Road A from Watford Ring Road.
From the M25
Exit at Junction 19 or 20, take the A411 to Watford bringing you onto the ring-road.
From the A41 (North)
Take the A411 (see M25 above).
The nearest taxi ranks to us are on Albert Road South (a six-minute walk) and at Watford Junction (a ten-minute walk). Our Welcome Team will also be happy to book a taxi for you.
There’s several different options for parking if you’re coming by car. We suggest using Sutton Car Park (WD17 2PS) on Estcourt Road, which is less than a 5-minute walk away.
You can also use Charter car park (WD17 2UB), which is part of the Atria Watford shopping centre (not to be confused with the Palace carpark: nothing to do with us, honest!). Charter car park is on the right-hand side, as if you were parking for the cinema. It’s just round the corner from us and also less than a 5-minute walk away.
You might also want to try Gade (WD18 0JX) or Church (WD18 0JD) car parks.
The theatre building is accessible, with access to all levels via the lift, and easily accessible toilets available on the ground and second floors.
Wheelchair spaces are available in the Stalls.
If you’re accompanying a guest with disabilities you can get a free companion ticket for nearly all our shows.
An infra-red sound amplification system works in certain areas of the auditorium. Headsets for amplifying sound are available which you can collect from the Box Office before the performance. If you would like a headset please let Box Office know when you’re booking.
If you have a guide or a hearing dog you’re welcome to keep them with you.
Video, subtitle, and audio options
We also have Audio Described and Captioned performances for some shows, these are indicated on our What’s On pages, or alternatively you can call the Box Office on 01923 225671 to check performance dates.
If you’d like to book a wheelchair space, use the sound system, bring an assistance dog, book a companion ticket or book for an Audio Described or Captioned performance, please let the Box Office know when booking your tickets.
We ask that you order any delicious food and drink in advance so our team can have them ready for you on arrival.
You don’t need to see a show to enjoy our Café. Whether you’d like a freshly made sandwich, slice of cake, or just a quiet cup of coffee away from the hustle and bustle of the high street, our café is open 10.00am to 16.00pm Monday-Saturday (and there’s free Wi-Fi, too).
If you’re on the go, we also offer Click and Collect orders:
If you’d like some more information about using our lovely front of house spaces, event catering, or just want to know more about our food and drink offers, please get in touch below:
Watford is a busy town with an extensive and colourful history! Sitting on the doorstep of Greater London, Watford is a major centre for entertainment, culture, business, and sport, and is the home of the much-loved Watford Football Club. Visitors can take time out by strolling in the beautiful Cassiobury Park, enjoying live music at the popular Horns Pub, or engaging with culture at the Pumphouse.
If shopping is more your bag, the newly-named Atria Watford houses over 140 shops, restaurants, and leisure attractions, which we think will keep even the most retail-averse individual satisfied!
History buffs can quench their thirst for knowledge at the fascinating Watford Museum, housed within the beautiful 18th Century Grade II listed building, which used to be the former offices of Benskins Brewery. Telling the story of Watford past and present, the museum has displays of local history, industry and archaeology – you might even find some memorabilia from a local Rocketman!
For those interested in spending quality time together, the Watford Big Events website provides an excellent overview of the vibrant, diverse cultural experiences and events that are funded throughout the year by Watford Borough Council.
And, of course, for the foodies amongst you, Watford has a lot of independent and chain restaurants, many of which are within walking distance of our beautiful theatre. The Watford BID offers a comprehensive list of local eateries to appeal to a multitude of taste buds!
To see more of what Watford has to offer, visit our friends at Visit Watford for more information.
We accept Maestro, MasterCard, and Visa. We also accept Electron cards by phone and in person.
We’ll need to release unpaid reservations after 7 days, or 45 minutes before the start of a performance, whichever is sooner.
*PLEASE NOTE THAT PAYMENT WILL BE NEEDED FOR RESERVATIONS FOR SOLD-OUT SHOWS AND EVENTS.*
Concessions depend on the show and performance, but cheaper prices are usually available to: senior citizens (60+), under-16s, full-time students and people with disabilities. For almost all our shows, companions for guests with disabilities get a free companion ticket.
Our sales team are happy to let you know the cheapest available ticket price for a show.
For group bookings of 10 or more, please contact the Box Office directly on 01923 225 671. Group discounts are available for selected shows.
We advise parents to check age guidance with our sales team when booking. Under-12s must be accompanied by an adult. Film admission is restricted by the film’s certificate and we may need proof of age.
Refunds and exchanges
Tickets and fees are non-refundable.
If the theatre is closed due to government restrictions, we’ll contact all ticket holders directly to offer a refund or exchange for any bookings for cancelled or postponed shows.
Any discounts or concessions must be applied when the tickets are booked, we can’t go back and apply them later. Only one concession can be used per ticket. Any special offers and discounts may be limited to specific seats.
We can exchange tickets for a different performance of the same show if available. There’s a 10% handling fee for this service, as well as the price difference if the new performance is more expensive. If the new performance is less expensive we won’t be able to refund the difference.
For completely sold-out shows, we can attempt to resell unwanted tickets, though we can’t make any guarantees. There is a 10% fee for this service. The cost of the returned tickets would be returned to you as credit, which you can use when booking a future Watford Palace Theatre show.
We very rarely cancel our performances but if we must, we’ll change your ticket for free for a performance on another night. If this option isn’t available or doesn’t work for you, we’ll offer you a full refund so that you can return another time.
*DURING COVID THE BUILDING IS CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. PLEASE CLICK THE BUTTON BELOW TO CONTACT US*
The theatre doesn’t just open for showtime! Please come in and have a look around or just relax with a coffee if you’d like (well, not RIGHT now, see above).
Our usual opening hours are:
Monday – Friday: 10am – 5pm
Saturday: 10am – 4pm
The building’s closed on Sundays unless there’s a film or show that day.
On nights when a show or film is playing, our Welcome team will be available for any Box Office enquiries until 15 minutes after the performance starts.