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Streatham Hill Theatre

2522

The Streatham Hill Theatre is one of London’s most lavish ‘sleeping beauties’. Sprague was responsible for some of the most beautiful theatres in London including Wyndham’s, the Aldwych, the Queen’s and Gielgud, Noel Coward, Novello Theatre, St Martin's, Ambassadors and the Coronet in Notting Hill Gate. Built in 1929, it was the last theatre designed by Sprague, but possibly his largest and one of the best-equipped in London, outside of the West End. The theatre has an imposing facade to Streatham Hill in faience by Doulton. It is in three bays, the centre with five main double entrance doors, above which a shallow promenade balcony with cast-iron balustrade behind a colonnade of four Doric columns in antis which rise majestically to attic level, with the legend STREATHAM HILL THEATRE above. The outer bays each have rows of four windows at each level and a pedimental gable containing a wreath. The foyer is spacious, with tall gilded Ionic columns and arches, terrazzo floor and two round kiosks each side of the grand central stairway. This sweeps up to dress circle and balcony levels, parting at the centre into two flights with iron balustrading. The auditorium is lavish. There are six bow-fronted boxes in two stacks on either side. A panelled ceiling dome with a glazed centre, originally backlit, dominates the three tiers, below which there is a tier of arches, continuing over the square proscenium. Coupled, attenuated Ionic columns divide the side walls and the boxes. The foyers, auditorium and public areas were described as being ‘in the Adam manner’ but are quite eclectic, with friezes of sphinxes, angels and garlands in abundance. The bar at first floor level is mahogany, and has murals of scenes of old London. For many years the theatre was run by Clavering, in conjunction with the Golders Green Hippodrome, until it received a direct hit by a V1 flying bomb in 1944. In 1950, the theatre was reconstructed to the original designs. It was slightly modified for bingo in 1962, but remains almost in original state, the tip-up theatre seats remaining in situ in the two circles. The original stage machinery is in situ. Beacon Bingo closed in January 2017 and the future of the building is uncertain.

Built / Converted
1929
Dates of use
  • 1950 - 1962
Current state
Extant
Current use
Disused (only rear of stalls currently in use as slot-machine lounge)
Address
110 Streatham Hill, London, Lambeth, SW2 4RD, England
Website-
Further details
Other names
Beacon Bingo
Events
  • 1929 Design/Construction:
    W G R Sprague & W H Barton
    - Architect
  • 1929 Design/Construction:
    Berkeley Electrical Engineering Co
    - Consultant
    electrics
    Alfred Brown & Co
    - Consultant
    ironmongery and ornamental ironwork
    Cawdery’s Theatre Service
    - Consultant
    stageworks
    Doulton & Co Ltd
    - Consultant
    faience tiles
    Goodhall & Co
    - Consultant
    decorative work
    Marbello Ltd
    - Consultant
    terrazzo and paving
    J Whitehead & Sons
    - Consultant
    marblework
    C Davies & Co
    - Consultant
    lantern lights
    Wooten & Sons
    - Consultant
    laylights
  • 1929 Owner/Management: Streatham Hill Playhouse Ltd
  • 1934 Alteration: interior altered and panels by Maurice Lambert added on proscenium splays
    May Wyndham Lewis
    - Architect
  • 1950 Alteration: reconstructed after bomb damage
    Unknown
    - Architect
  • 1950 - 1962 Use:
  • 1962 Owner/Management: Mecca
  • 1999 Owner/Management: Mayfair Bingo (private owner)
  • 2009 Owner/Management: Praesepe plc (Beacon Bingo)
Capacities
  • Capacity
    Original
    Description
    c.3000
Listings
  • Listing
    II
Stage type
Proscenium
Building dimensions: -
Stage dimensions: Depth: 50ft Width: 80ft
Proscenium width: 40ft
Height to grid: -
Inside proscenium: -
Orchestra pit: Original, now covered