Avenue Theatre

1825

The low façade is decorated in Spanish style of white stucco topped with a frieze of blue tiles, with ornamental light fittings and matching canopy. The outer foyer houses original payboxes, and four pairs of mahogany doors lead to a vast inner foyer. The ceiling is deeply moulded and an inglenook fireplace has been restored, with temperature gauge above. Stairs lead down either side into the stalls area whilst at the end of the foyer is a large bar, with entrances either side to the balcony. The Spanish style has been carried through the building, with deeply coved ceilings and rich detailed plasterwork, ornamental grilles and decorative light fittings.

The auditorium is styled as an atmospheric Spanish courtyard: on one side is a richly decorated villa with ornamental balustrade, and on the other is a projecting balcony with tiled roof; illuminated iron barred balconies and ornamental shields feature around the remaining walls. The ceiling is entirely draped and lit with elaborate lanterns: originally this was richly embroidered tapestry, but has now been replaced by a plain material. The proscenium is richly moulded and topped by a shield emblem and flanked either side by elaborate Spanish grilles.

The proscenium opening is 50ft, with perhaps another 4ft wing space on either side. The stage house is equipped with dressing rooms but there is no flytower, although there is some flying space for bars. There was a large orchestra pit with an organ, now removed. Gone, too is the private box from the circle area, which was used as a private cinema during the 1970s by a group of amateur film makers. Ciné-variety was presented until 1939, as well as circus and big-band concerts. Escaping demolition for a supermarket, the theatre was converted to a night club in 1988, with a bar area in the former circle, and dancing in the stalls area. In 1996 the building was taken over by the Elim Pentecostal Church, who use it sympathetically. The building is in remarkably original state, still undergoing repairs by the current owners who are committed to its restoration.

Built / Converted
1932
Dates of use
  • 1932 - 1939: (possibly longer)
Current state
Extant
Current use
Religious centre (Elim Church)
Address
268 Northfield Avenue, London, Ealing, W5 4UB, England
Website-
Further details
Other names
Odeon , Coronet , Top Hat Night Club , Ealing Christian Centre
Events
  • 1932 Design/Construction:
    Maples Ltd
    - Consultant
    interior furnishing
    Theodore Komisarjevski
    - Consultant
    (attrib.) interior design
    Cecil Masey
    - Architect
  • 1932 Owner/Management: T B Percy, J D Percy & H Usher (Walpole Hall Ltd), owners
  • 1932 - 1939 Use: (possibly longer)
  • 1936 Owner/Management: Odeon, lessees, continuing as Rank
  • 1981 Owner/Management: Sherman's Coronet Circuit, lessees
  • 1988 Owner/Management: Top Hat Club (owners?), lessees
  • 1988 Alteration: stage fittings and seats removed for nightclub use.
    Unknown
    - Architect
  • 1995 Owner/Management: Elim Pentecostal Church
Capacities
  • Capacity
    Original
    Description
    1538
  • Capacity
    Later
    Description
    1936: 1100
Listings
  • Listing
    II*
Stage type
Pros flat
Building dimensions: -
Stage dimensions: Depth: 15ft Width SL: c.29ft SR: c.29ft
Proscenium width: 50ft
Height to grid: -
Inside proscenium: -
Orchestra pit: Original, with organ - now removed