Skip to main content

Camden Theatre


Symmetrical stone façade in free classical manner. Large copper dome, now lacking its open lantern. Still an imposing corner building, viewed across a busy road junction.

Radical internal alterations were carried out when the theatre was converted to disco use. Despite this, and the usual proliferation of lights, it remains a beautiful auditorium with two partly cantilevered balconies (gallery now closed and levelled through to front of building to form new public room). Modelled plasterwork by Waring & Gillow. Marble proscenium arch with segmental pediment and, on either side, marble columns rising from caryatids, defining four bays, containing boxes at three levels. Shallow domed ceiling. The alterations included the laying of a dance floor covering a large part of the stalls area and penetrating the deeply cutaway stage, unfortunately all in determinedly permanent construction. Balconies have been formed over the stage. The floor level at the front of the dress circle has been raised, necessitating a guard rail above the original circle front.

Small, elaborate foyer (bronze plaque of Ellen Terry), above which was originally a ‘promenade and winter garden’. Proscenium 9.75m (32ft) wide.

Despite the extensive conversion works, the theatre would be perfectly capable of restoration to theatrical use. Sadly, the expense of such a re-conversion has been unnecessarily increased by the nature of the 1981 alterations.

Built / Converted
Dates of use
  • 1901 : Until when not known.
Current state
Current use
Licensed premises (nightclub)
1a Camden High Street (and Crowndale Road), London, Camden, NW1 7JE, England
Further details
Other names
Camden Hippodrome , Royal Camden , Music Machine , Camden Palace , KOKO
  • Owner/Management: For licensees from 1901 to 1945 see Diana Howard, op cit.
  • Owner/Management: Was a cinema by 1924
  • Owner/Management: From ?1960s-1972 a BBC sound radio studio
  • 1901 Use: Until when not known.
  • 1901 Design/Construction:
    W G R Sprague
    - Architect
  • 1901 Design/Construction:
    Waring & Gillow
    - Consultant
  • 1981 Alteration: converted to discotheque
    Michael Gibson Assoc
    - Architect
  • 1981 Owner/Management: F & H Entertainments
  • 1988 Owner/Management: by European Leisure
  • 1994 Alteration: refurbished and reconstructed internally
    Maddocks Chadwick
    - Architect
  • 1994 Design/Construction:
    Roy Worskett
    - Consultant
    consultant on architectural treatment
  • Capacity
    1912: 2500
    1980: est. 1400
  • Capacity
    est. 1400
  • Listing
Stage type
Building dimensions: -
Stage dimensions: Depth: 11m (36ft)
Proscenium width: 10m (32ft)
Height to grid: -
Inside proscenium: -
Orchestra pit: -