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Victoria Palace Theatre

Victoria Palace Theatre
1832: Moy's Music Hall
1863: Royal Standard Music Hall
Victoria Palace Theatre London 2011 1.jpg
Billy Elliot the Musical playing at the Victoria Palace
Address Victoria Street
London, SW1
United Kingdom
Coordinates 51°29′48″N 0°08′36″W / 51.496778°N 0.14325°W / 51.496778; -0.14325
Public transit London Underground National Rail Victoria
Owner Delfont Mackintosh Theatres
Designation Grade II* listed
Type West End theatre
Capacity 1,550 on 3 levels
Construction
Opened 1911; 106 years ago (1911)
Architect Frank Matcham
Website
Victoria Palace Theatre official website

Victoria Palace Theatre is a West End theatre in Victoria Street, in the City of Westminster, opposite Victoria Station.

The theatre began life as a small concert room above the stables of the Royal Standard Hotel, a small hotel and tavern built in 1832 at what was then 522 Stockbridge Terrace, on the site of the present theatre – not, as sometimes stated, on land where the train station now stands. The proprietor, John Moy, enlarged the building, and by 1850 it became known as Moy's Music Hall. Alfred Brown took it over in 1863, refurbished it, and renamed it the Royal Standard Music Hall.

The hotel was demolished in 1886, by which time the main line terminus, Victoria Station and its new Grosvenor Hotel, had transformed the area into a major transport hub. The railways were at this time building grand hotel structures at their termini, and Victoria was one of the first. Added to this was the integration of the electric underground system and the building of Victoria Street. The owner of the music hall, Thomas Dickey, had it rebuilt along more ambitious lines in 1886 by Richard Wake, retaining the name Royal Standard Music Hall.

The Royal Standard was demolished in 1910, and in its place was built, at a cost of ₤12,000, the current theatre, The Victoria Palace. It was designed by prolific theatre architect Frank Matcham, and opened November 6, 1911. The original design featured a sliding roof that helped cool the auditorium during intervals in the summer months.

Under impresario Alfred Butt, the Victoria Palace Theatre continued the musical theatre tradition by presenting mainly varieties, and under later managements, repertory and revues. Perhaps because of its music hall linkage, the plays were not always taken seriously. In 1934, the theatre presented Young England, a patriotic play written by the Rev. Walter Reynolds, then 83. It received such amusingly bad reviews that it became a cult hit and played to full houses for 278 performances before transferring to two other West End theatres.



  • Earl, John and Sell, Michael Theatres Trust Guide to British Theatres 1750–1950, pp. 145 (Theatres Trust, 2000)
  • Ronald Bergan: The Great Theatres of London. An Illustrated Companion (Prion: London, 1990) ().
  • Patricia Dee Berry: Theatrical London (Britain in Old Photographs series) (Alan Sutton: Stroud, Gloucestershire, 1995) ().
  • Ray Mander and Joe Mitchenson: 'Theatres of London', (Rupert Hart-Davis 1961, New English Library 1975)
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Wikipedia

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