The theatre could seat 15.000 people on its 37 rows with another 2.000 to 3.000 standing. Once it was no longer used it filled with sand and it took between 1947 and 1970 to dig it up again. But before that the Ayyubids converted it into a fortress and thus kept it for posterity. The stage and the top seats have been restored a lot. Stylistically it dates from the second century AD. When used as a theatre silk awnings would keep spectators from sun burn, and perfumed water would be sprayed into the air to keep the audience refreshed.
In the distance you see the first glimpse of the extensive (second in size after Palmyra) Roman city. This picture was made looking right at the entrance to the theatre.