The inside of the King's Theatre Pantheon, 1791
The impressive oval roof is based on the dome of Santa Sophia in Constantinople. It opened in 1772 to an eager audience and received wide acclaim. Charles Burney wrote that it was "regarded both by natives and foreigners as the most elegant structure in Europe, if not on the globe ...No person of taste in architecture, or music who remembers the Pantheon, its exhibitions, its numerous, splendid, and elegant assemblies, can hear it mentioned without a sigh." However by 1791 it had lost much of its popularity and began to be used for dramatic performances. The King's Theatre, Pantheon opened on 17 Feb 1791 with the opera 'Armida' by Sacchini. In 1792 it was destroyed by fire and had to be rebuilt. The site of the Pantheon is now covered by Marks & Spencer's Oxford Street Store.