Arena Theatre (Divadlo Aréna) is one of the oldest theatres in Bratislava. It was established in 1828 on the right bank of Danube. In the beginning it served as an open summer amphitheatre, hence the name Arena. The current building was built in 1898.
From its establishment till the end of the Second World War, many Hungarian, Austrian and German theatre companies performed there. After the war, the theatre was gradually closed and served as a storehouse for state-owned Slovak Television.
The theatre was revived by a group of people around mime artist Milan Sládek, opening performance took place in 1997. The repertoire consisted of several pantomimic performances, an annual pantomimic festival took place there.
In 2003, renowned Slovak actor Juraj Kukura became managing director and focus of the theatre shifted to drama. Performance The Goat or Who is Sylvia? was nominated for DOSKY Award 2004 in categories best performance and best director, Juraj Kukura and Emília Vášáryová won the categories for best actor/actress. A year later, monodrama Tiso was voted the best performance. Marián Labuda, who was performing Jozef Tiso, won the prize for best actor.