The Artscape Theatre Centre, which belongs to the provincial administration, was opened on 19 May 1971 as the Nico Malan Theatre Centre. In line with the new South African political dispensation and the concurrent changes the complex was renamed to Artscape in March 2001.
Historically the Cape Performing Arts Board (CAPAB) was instituted in the early sixties of the twentieth century. The aim was to promote the performing arts. The arts councils received sufficient government subsidies to fund various art forms as well as the operational requirements of the theatre facilities.