The Theatre Royal was founded by the actor Spranger Barry and was opened in 1760. It was modelled on the Crow Street Theatre in Dublin where Barry had previously worked. This theatre was destroyed by a fire on 1 April 1840. In 1853 the theatre was rebuilt and the name of Theatre Royal was retained. During the 1860s the theatre was extensively refurbished under the direction of Sir John Benson, re-opened on 26 December 1867. In 1875 the theatre was sold to the postal service and the new GPO opened on the site in 1877.