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"There is something more powerful than each of us, a combination of our efforts, a Great Chain of industry that unites us. But it is only when we struggle in our own interest that the chain pulls society in the right direction..."Andrew Ryan

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Footlight Theater Logo
Footlight Theater

The once grand Footlight Theater now lies in ruins.

Now, I ain't saying I'm Shakespeare, but I'm trying to run a respectable theater.
― Steve Barker[src]

The Footlight Theater is a small stage theater located in the Welcome Center complex of Rapture. Jack must journey through here during the introductory level of BioShock. When he does, he gets a front row seat to the interactions of the dangerous denizens of the underwater city.


The Footlight Theater was once a small playhouse, owned by Steve Barker, where Sander Cohen's Happy Chappy and other small productions were carried out. The theater catered to anyone wanting to enjoy a show, including working and middle-class citizens. Barker grew angry with Brenda, the owner of the neighboring Kashmir Restaurant, after some structural damage occurred in the restaurant's bathroom wall, which it shared with Barker's business, and her neglect to fix it.[1]


Main article: BioShock

Brenda never got the hole in the bathroom wall fixed, as is evident when Jack enters the furthest stall in the bathroom. The hole has grown to the size a person can pass through, and by which Jack enters the Footlight Theater.

The main floor holds about twenty-five to thirty people, with eighteen of its seats still remaining. The sides and second floor are for overflow standing room crowds. The locked Kashmir Restaurant entrance to the theater is shown to be blocked by debris. There is a single broken Circus of Values in the west side room.

The Footlight Theater is the place where Jack is initially introduced to Little Sisters and Big Daddies. The scene starts with a Little Sister drawing ADAM from a corpse, cheerfully singing a melody while carrying out her grim task. Over the Radio, Atlas tells Jack to lower his weapon before explaining to Jack about how Little Sisters are not ordinary children, but rather are monstrous beings created through dark ambition and Rapture's science. A Splicer then attempts to harm the child, who screams, and her Bouncer protector quickly reacts and come to her rescue. Whilst making a wreck of the already destroyed theater, he brutally eliminates the hapless Splicer, smashing him through a window.

New Discoveries[]

Golden Film Reels (BioShock: The Collection only)[]

  1. On the stage.

BioShock 2 Multiplayer[]

Main article: BioShock 2 Multiplayer

The theater's marquee can be seen on the exterior of Rapture's buildings in multiplayer maps, including Dionysus Park.

Infinite Spoilers

BioShock Infinite[]

BI Footlight Theater

Advertisements for the Footlight Theater seen in BioShock Infinite.

Main article: BioShock Infinite

When Booker DeWitt, Elizabeth and Songbird enter the Welcome Center through a Tear into Rapture, a sign for the Footlight Theater is seen through the windows, and again when they leave Rapture in a Bathysphere.

Burial at Sea - Episode 2[]

Main article: Burial at Sea - Episode 2

One can make out a sign for the theater in the lights of the city, through the large windows during the episode's conclusion, and more clearly in the after-credits scene.


Behind the Scenes[]

  • The stall doors in the Kashmir Restaurant will close as soon as the player walks through, making returning impossible.
  • Early iterations of the Footlight Theater merely consisted of a burned-out shell of a building. Assets were repurposed from Fort Frolic to give it a more "theatrical" introduction to Big Daddies and Little Sisters.[2]
  • The Bouncer actually spawns as soon as Jack drops down to the lower floor, and it will already have red lights before the attack. Its animation will only start once the Splicer strikes the Sister.
    • In addition, the player can see the Big Daddy and Little Sister de-spawning when they leave the theater, if the player walks close enough to the vending machine and looks in their direction.
  • Originally, the player was required to shoot off the door lock with the Pistol to make sure the player had obtained it before advancing past the level.[2]
    • In case the player ran out of ammo, the Splicer's body which gets thrown through the window could be looted for Pistol Rounds. If the player had spectacularly poor aim, the run-down Circus of Values, labeled as "A Broken Vending Machine",[2] would spit out more ammo.
    • Player-testing revealed that using the Wrench or even Electro Bolt could be presented as viable alternatives.[2]

Concept art for Burial at Sea - Episode 1.

  • Concept art for Burial at Sea - Episode 1 shows a facade for the Footlight Theater, which suggests that the business would have made a formal appearance in the Burial at Sea expansion for BioShock Infinite, instead of simply appearing in the form of its marquee.