Hippodrome in 2003
This Special Feature was first created in 2003 and although the building was refurbished in 2012 and converted into the Hippodrome Casino I have left the Feature online for historical reference. The pages were restructured slightly in March 2015.
Hello and Welcome to the August 2003 Special Feature on the current state of The London Hippodrome. I was recently granted access to the entire building and took a plethora of pictures of what remains of Frank Matcham's once wonderful Theatre. The auditorium originally consisted of Stalls, Mezzanine, Gallery, Upper Gallery, and Minstrel Gallery, but now there is a false ceiling above the Mezzanine Level. How the auditorium above the false ceiling got into the state it's in now is hard to imagine. I think you will find these images very interesting and very depressing in equal measure.
Above the false ceiling of the modern night club is the dark ghost of a theatre, consequently many of the images in this feature are less than perfect quality, but I hope this doesn't detract from the fascination. Please note that throughout this Feature I have used the traditional way of naming Theatre positions, so for instance: 'Stage Right' always means that you are either standing on stage facing the auditorium and looking at something to your Right, or you are in the Auditorium facing the stage and looking at something to your Left. You get used to it after a while!
Hover cursor over the image
below and click to see the same section in 2003
I often looked in amazement at the wonderful elaborate old structures and would try and visualise how it all was in its original state. It was very splendid and always invoked a sense of its former glory, somehow misplaced in the context of everything that came after. This web site has brought it all back to me and been very informative.
Same applies to underneath the building in the Elephant Run as it was known. We used to play Cricket there! Indeed we started the Talk Of The Town Cricket club which enjoyed numerous fixtures as TTCC for many years after it was closed
I did hundreds of shows there, and at weekends, TV productions. It's sad to see the derelict old Stage Door, Stage Door Room, and Stairs leading to dressing rooms which were alive with all of the artists and dancers, and have seen numerous very famous names walk up and down those stairs.
Many thanks for a real sentimental journey, I know some
of my old chums who also worked there would enjoy the site as well.
Could tell you a thousand stories of my time in there but these would
not be in tune with the historical context of the building which is
at the heart of your web site. Great times in a wonderful old building.
Billy Petch and Robert Nesbitt were there throughout my employment
in their respective roles. One man lives in the memory as a very unpleasant
and bullying (to the dancers) individual with an explosive awful temper.
I recall him being so drunk one evening that some of the cast sprayed
him with dreadful perfume (emptied onto him) and put him in a cab,
whose driver had to be bribed to take him because of the overpowering
volume of perfume. Thanks for the memories again." Graham
You may find the following pages from this site of interest: