There was a drama theatre on the site from 1872. The 1879 rebuild was the first theatre completed by Frank Matcham after Jethro T. Robinson's death. The 1932 building (which incorporates fragments of the earlier theatre) was designed by William Riddell Glen, FRIAS, LRIBA (1884-1950) who was one of the leading cinema and theatre architects of the period. It was built in partnership with Associated British Cinemas (ABC). Its narrow recessed rendered facade on New Kent Road is in the vaguely Art Deco style, but now obscured with cladding and easily removable. The bulk of the building rises behind in brown brick, almost to railway arches at one side. In order to compete with the once huge Trocadero opposite, it had a fully equipped stage, dressing rooms and full orchestra pit, and was designed for concert/musical live events as well as for cinema. The 1930s Art Deco style auditorium designed by Glen remains intact as an early example of his designs for ABC. It is of a restrained traditional design rather than his more ‘scalloped-edged’ examples. However, it displays all Glen’s characteristic detailing including spacious grille work and highly decorated ceiling. It retains a large decorative grille and lay light to the centre of the ceiling and a large square splayed ribbed proscenium, incorporating stylised grille work to the sides and top of the ante-proscenium. The auditorium features a deep scalloped cornice, fluted pilasters with dropped-scroll capitals and Art Deco decoration. The main features have been restored and the venue now operates as a multi-purpose music venue with lighting, projection and recording facilities with a funky feel. Without this new-found use, the building, which had been subdivided and run-down in recent years, would certainly have been lost. The building is currently at risk of demolition due to the redevelopment of the Elephant and Castle shopping centre.
- 1872 - 1928: Theatre
- 1928 - 1999: Cinema
- 2002 - 2018: Music and events venue, continuing
- 1872 Design/Construction:Dean Son & Matthews- ArchitectGiles Bennett- Contractor
- 1872 - 1928 Use: Theatre
- 1879 Design/Construction: Completed by Frank MatchamBrass & Co- ContractorPashley North & Young- ConsultantJethro T Robinson- Architect
- 1902 Alteration: partial restoration (architect unknown)
- 1928 - 1986 Owner/Management: ABC
- 1928 - 1999 Use: Cinema
- 1932 Design/Construction: New supercinema builtW R Glen- Architect
- 1941 Alteration: Refurbished after bomb damage (architect unknown)
- 1967 Alteration: modernised (architect unknown).
- 1981 Alteration: tripled (architect unknown).
- 1986 - 1999 Owner/Management: Coronet
- 2001 Owner/Management: The Pure Group
- 2002 - 2018 Use: Music and events venue, continuing
- 2003 Alteration: De-tripled, interior and stage facilities restoredKracha- Architect
- 2010 Owner/Management: St Modwen, owner
- 2010 - 2018 Owner/Management: Elephant Music Ltd, operator
- 2014 Owner/Management: DV4 and APG, owners, managed by Delancey
- CapacityLaterDescription2315Commentin 1932
- CapacityCurrentDescription2600Commentin 2017
- ListingNot listed