One of Hungary’s eldest and most beautiful, still functioning theatres, Vígszínház opened in 1896 as antipole to the then conservative National Theatre, intended to satisfy the ever-growing demand for quality (bourgeois) entertainment. The building in Szent István körút was designed in French Neo-baroque style by the Fellner and Helmer studio of Vienna. It functioned as a private theatre until 1949, before its expropriation by the state. Shelled in World War 2, it reopened only in 1951, as the Theatre of the Hungarian People’s Army. It was renamed to Vígszínház in 1960. It is still one of the most elegant theatres of Budapest and attracts 350 000 visitors a year.