The new theatre, designed by architect Hector Lefuel at the Emperor’s behest, was opened in 1857. This turned out to be a timely project, as the old Salle de la Belle Cheminée burned down during the new theatre’s construction. Inspired by the Opéra Royal in Versailles, it is a Louis XV-style building designed by Gabriel. It was built on the site of court apartments. The Imperial theatre has been renovated and opened in 2014 thanks to the sponsorship of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.