The theatre is another witness to the great past of Bodrum. Situated in the hillside overlooking Bodrum this theatre whose capacity is around 13.000 was built during the Carian reign in the Hellenistic age (330 - 30 BC.). The theatre consists of three different sections: a place for the audience, a place for an orchestra and the stage. It became an open-air museum after the excavations in 1973.
The seating rows are carved into the rocks in a horseshoe shape and are covered with marble. The rows are divided into two by a horizontal passageway. The lower part is intact. The upper part is demolished by human hands and due to natural causes. The rows are further divided into 12 vertical sections by 11stairways. These horizontal and vertical passages facilitate the movement of the audience. The data on hand reveals that a total of 55 rows were erected, 30 in the lower and 25 on the upper section; therefore, the theatre must have had a seating capacity of 12-13,000 people. The fact that the seating arrangements are on a plane wider than a semicircle supports the theory that it was built in earlier periods.
It is located in the center and is built wider than a semicircle, in line with the rows of seats. It was occupied by the chorus who sang and abided to a certain choreography in support of the plays performed during the antique ages. The altar in the center, in front of the seats, was for Dionysos, a newly recruited deity in Anatolia. In late Roman period, such theatres were used for gladiator and wild animal fights. This is evidenced by the ruins of parapets separating the audience from the fighters.