Arthur Lloyd.co.uk
The Music Hall and Theatre History Site
Dedicated to Arthur Lloyd, 1839 - 1904.

 

The Elephant and Castle Theatre, 24-28 New Kent Road, Southwark, London

Later - The ABC / Coronet Cinema / The Coronet Theatre

Introduction - The First Elephant & Castle Theatre 1872 - The Second Elephant & Castle Theatre 1878/79 - 1932 Reconstruction by ABC - The Coronet

See also in this area: The Trocadero Super Cinema - The Elephant & Castle Estate, 1898 and Shopping Centre, 1965

A Google Streetview Image of the Coronet Theatre, New Kent Road today, formerly the Elephant and Castle Theatre - Click to Interact.

Above - A Google Streetview Image of the Coronet Theatre, New Kent Road today, formerly the Elephant and Castle Theatre - Click to Interact.

An early photograph of the second Elephant and Castle Theatre - From Dianna Howard's 'London Theatres and Music Halls 1850-1950.'The concert venue and nightclub which is today known as the Coronet Theatre, situated on the New Kent Road at Elephant and Castle in London, originally opened as the Elephant and Castle Theatre on the 31st of May 1879.

The site of the Theatre was a particularly tricky one for the architects but clever use of the space available enabled the foyers and box office to be squeezed in-between several houses and shops, fronting onto the New Kent Road, whilst the large auditorium and stage were situated much further back and reached through corridors, rather like Frank Matcham's later Bristol Hippodrome.

Right - An early photograph of the 1879 Elephant and Castle Theatre - From Dianna Howard's 'London Theatres and Music Halls 1850-1950.'

The Theatre today does look very different to how it originally appeared but it is still an important building as it was the first major Theatre design by the now renowned Theatre Architect Frank Matcham, who worked on the Theatre after its original architect Jethro T. Robinson (Matcham's Father in Law) died during its construction. There is more on this below.

Radically altered internally in 1932 the auditorium bears little resemblance to the Matcham / Robinson designed auditorium of 1879, but much of the exterior, despite the 1960s cladding covering the facade, appears to be that of the earlier building.

There is more on this Theatre below but first some details of the first Theatre on the site.

The Elephant and Castle Theatre of 1872

A Programme for 'La Fille De Madam Angot' at the second Elephant & Castle Theatre on June the 2nd 1884.The Theatre which is today known as the Coronet originally opened as the Elephant & Castle Theatre in 1879. However, it was not the first Theatre to be built on the site as it was actually constructed on the site of an even earlier Theatre, also called the Elephant and Castle Theatre, which was built for John Aubrey and his actress wife, opening in 1872. This was originally conceived, and partly built, as a Public Hall but plans were changed during construction and the unfinished building was then converted into a 3,000 seat Theatre by Messrs. Dean & Son, and Matthews.

Right - A Programme for 'La Fille De Madam Angot' at the second Elephant & Castle Theatre on June the 2nd 1884.

The ERA reported on the construction of this Theatre in their 28th of April 1872 edition saying:- 'A new Theatre is building opposite the Elephant and Castle, which will be one of the most commodious, and as far as the audience are concerned (from the plans) one of the most convenient, in London. It will hold upwards of 3,000 persons. The pit and stalls will contain seats for 1,400 persons, besides 200 standings; the boxes will seat 500 persons. There will be capital refreshment saloons in the Theatre, and detached, through iron doors, will be a promenade for the audience, with smoking and refreshment rooms, lavatories, gents' dressing rooms, refreshment saloons, and, as on the Continent, the Stage-Manager's bell will ring in the cafe to announce the recommencement of the performance. There will be twelve private boxes. The pit and gallery entrances will be facing the Elephant and Castle, and the stalls, private boxes, and boxes entrance in the Kent-road, facing Messrs. Tarns.

Mr. Roy, the builder, has the contract to finish within three months from the present date. Mr. Ellis, the well-known mechanist, will erect the stage with all the latest improvements. The Theatre will be ventilated, no fire-places permitted in the Theatre, and every precaution taken to prevent fire.

The designs are by Mr. Lucas, the architect of the Standard Theatre, and the surveyors, Messrs. Dean, Son, and Matharns (sic), of Mark-lane. Notwithstanding the enormous outlay, the prices of admission, we hear, will be within the reach of all classes of society. Mr. E. T. Smith will have the entire management, which will be a guarantee of good entertainment for the public. The site is admirably chosen, for omnibuses from all parts of London stop at the Elephant and Castle, also tramways, and the railroad platform adjoins the Theatre.'

The above text in quotes was first published in the ERA, 28th of Apil 1872.

A Programme for 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' at the second Elephant & Castle Theatre on August the 29th 1885.The Theatre opened on Boxing Day, the 26th of December 1872 with a production of the pantomime 'Fairyland', under the management of Mr. E. T. Smith.

The ERA reported on the opening of the first Elephant and Castle Theatre in December 1872 saying:- 'Another new Theatre is added to the list of Metropolitan entertainments. On Boxing Night this establishment, which being within a stone's throw of the Elephant and Castle, has been thus named, was opened under the management of Mr E. T. Smith, and with every promise of success. True, the Theatre cannot be said to be finished, a strong smell of paint, glue, varnish, and deal timber still pervading the house, and in some cases the very bricks and mortar revealed the outlines of the structure.

Right - A Programme for 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' at the second Elephant & Castle Theatre on August the 29th 1885.

A Programme for 'Little Bo-Peep' at the second Elephant & Castle Theatre on the 24th of December 1889.But this in no way hindered the amusement of a Boxing Night audience, proverbially indifferent to trifles the new Theatre presents even now a light and cheerful aspect, and when the decorations are completed will lack nothing that is necessary for the due performance of the drama and the enjoyment of a large audience. We should judge the size of the new house to be similar to that of the Brittania.

Left - A Programme for 'Little Bo-Peep' at the second Elephant & Castle Theatre on the 24th of December 1889.

Although there is but one tier of boxes, and the gallery above the house is rather lofty, the accommodation is pretty equally divided between boxes, pit, and gallery, and the prices are adapted to the pocket of the million, ranging from three pence to two shillings, at which price visitors can take their choice of stalls or dress circle. Every allowance must be made for the difficulties of an opening night. We shall have more to say of the internal decorations when they are finished...

It would be unfair to award any preference where all worked so gaily for the public amusement. Suffice it to say that their drolleries were well rewarded with incessant laughter and applause, and the curtain fell a little before midnight with decidedly cheering cheering prospects for the Elephant and Castle Theatre. The music of Mr Cohen merits special notice, and the properties of Mr Wood, and the ballets of Mr Chapino. The National Anthem way performed with most enthusiastic applause.'

The above text in quotes (edited) was first published in the ERA, December 1872.

This early Elephant and Castle Theatre first opened under the management of Mr. E. T. Smith on the 26th of December 1872, but it soon passed into the hands of Mr. T. Mead who reopened it on the 1st of September 1873 with a romantic drama called 'Passing Through the Fire'. Mead only held the Theatre for a few months though before it was taken over again, this time by a Mr. Freeborne, but it was never very successful and in 1875 it was put up for auction.

The Theatre was bought by Mr. John Aubrey and Miss Henderson who then ran it until a disastrous fire destroyed the building after a performance of 'The Courier and the Czar' on the 26th of March 1878. The fire also did some damage to the railway platform above the Theatre but the station survived. A house behind the Theatre was also destroyed.

The Elephant and Castle Theatre of 1879

Reconstructed by ABC in 1932 / Renamed The Coronet in 1986

The fire was the end for the first Elephant and Castle Theatre but John Aubrey soon started planning a new Theatre to replace it. W. H. Bracher signed a contract with a Mr. Hosford of Lymington on May the 28th 1878, to rebuild the Theatre. The original plans for this new Theatre were drawn up by the architect Jethro T. Robinson, who was also responsible for Hengler's Grand Cirque, The Park Theatre, Camden, The Pavilion Theatre, Whitechapel, The Early Theatre Royal, Hull, The Albion Theatre, Poplar, The Grecian Theatre, Shoreditch, and The Theatre Royal, Leeds amongst others.

Robinson's plans for the Theatre were handed over to Bracher on the 3rd of June 1878 but Bracher had an issue with the safety of the building, considering the walls to be too insubstantial to carry the roof. Robinson assured him that the plans had been approved by the Metropolitan Board of Works so construction of the new Elephant and Castle Theatre was started on the 13th of June.

A Programme for 'The Bad Girl Of The Family' at the second Elephant & Castle Theatre in 1909.Jethro Robinson, however, passed away just a month later, on the 15th of July, and work on the Theatre was suspended. Consequently on the 16th of August 1878 Mr. Hosford appointed Robinson's Son in Law, Frank Matcham, to succeed Robinson and superintend the works. Construction of the Theatre then continued, but Bracher told Matcham that he still thought the walls were insufficiently strong enough to carry the roof. Matcham reiterated what Robinson had originally said and work continued until August the 31st 1878 when work on the building was again stopped, this time by the District Surveyor, who said that the external walls were of an insufficient thickness, and that the foundations, the proscenium walls, and much else was of concern too. However, Matcham insisted that the plans were sufficient and the work was continued.

Left - A Programme for 'The Bad Girl Of The Family' at the second Elephant & Castle Theatre in 1909.

On the 9th of September Bracher was handed a 'statuary Notice' under the Metropolitan Buildings Act, and construction of the Theatre was again suspended. After a lot of discussions with the District Surveyor, the builders, and the architect, Matcham relented and redesigned the external walls, consenting to their strengthening with piers and arches in cement.

Work finally began again on October the 15th 1878 but on December the 4th the proscenium walls gave way, bringing down an iron girder and the whole of the superstructure and scaffolding with it. This resulted in the District Surveyor demanding that the proscenium construction was to be taken down and rebuilt at a greater thickness, and in cement instead of mortar. - This information is from a letter by W. H. Bracher, published in the ERA, 23rd, February 1879.

The construction of the new Elephant and Castle Theatre was finally completed in May 1879 and it's a wonder that it was, considering the problems with the design. Although Jethro Robinson was the original architect, Frank Matcham completed the building and despite this being his first Theatre, and all the trouble with its construction, he went on to become the foremost Theatre Architect of his time, designing hundreds of wonderful Theatres all over the Country, many of which are still standing today.

The Auditorium and Stage of the Coronet Theatre in September 2013 - Photo M. L.

Above - The Auditorium and Stage of the Coronet Theatre in September 2013 - Photo M. L.

The ERA reported on the opening of the new Elephant and Castle Theatre in their 8th of June 1879 edition saying:' 'The old Theatre bearing the above name, first opened in 1872, under the direction of the Late Mr E. T. Smith; subsequently managed for a few months by Mr T. Mead; then taken in hand by Mr Freeborne, whose attempts to carry it on upon the "commonwealth" principle did not meet with much encouragement; and finally brought into considerable popularity through the energy of Mr J. Aubrey and the ability of Miss Marie Henderson — was destroyed by fire in March 1878, after the performance of the drama called The Courier of the Czar, a piece which curiously enough introduced a river on fire by way of sensation...

The Auditorium and Stage of the Coronet Theatre in September 2013 - Photo M. L.

Above - The Auditorium and Stage of the Coronet Theatre in September 2013 - Photo M. L.

An advertisement carried in the ERA, 1st June 1879, on the opening of the Elephant and Castle Theatre....The old house having been destroyed attention was at once turned in the direction of a new one, and the building of this, after numerous hindrances and delays of irritating character, having been completed, the establishment was thrown open to the public on the evening of Saturday, May 31st, with as an attraction a new drama, prepared by Mr Frank Fuller, the Stage-Manager, and bearing the appropriate title Raised from the Ashes.

Left - An advertisement carried in the ERA, 1st June 1879, on the opening of the Elephant and Castle Theatre.

The following particulars respecting the new building, which will hold over 4,000 people, have been furnished by the architect, Mr Frank Matcham. The length of the house from back to front, including the stage, is 106 feet; the stage being forty feet at the deepest part. The width of the proscenium is thirty feet, and the entire width of the house from side to side sixty-seven feet. There are four rows of stalls, and a very spacious pit, calculated to hold nearly a thousand people. The stalls have two exits, five feet six inches wide, and a spacious promenade extends round the pit, to which there are no fewer than three exits, two being five feet six inches, and the other, the main entrance in the New Kent-road, over seven feet...

The Auditorium and Stage of the Coronet Theatre taken from under the balcony in September 2013 - Photo M. L.

Above - The Auditorium and Stage of the Coronet Theatre taken from under the balcony in September 2013 - Photo M. L.

The side elevation of the Coronet Theatre in September 2013 - Photo M. L....A new feature is a large saloon over fifty feet long, on the left hand side of the pit, looking towards the stage. This saloon is really built underneath the platform of the Elephant and Castle railway station, and has also a spacious exit. Two of the new exits from the stalls and pit, coming out into Caroline-place, at the back of the Theatre, are also constructed underneath the platform, so that all the available ground has been made use of.

Right - The side elevation of the Coronet Theatre in September 2013. This passageway under the railway platform above is the site of the former saloon mentioned in the text above.

The dress circle is approached from the main entrance in New Kent-road by a staircase seven feet six inches wide. Attached is a handsomely decorated saloon, and, in addition to the main entrance, are two exits down fireproof staircases, one each side of the proscenium.

A Programme for an annual Benefit for the Elephant and Castle Theatre manager, Ernest E Norris.There are ten boxes - five on each side; and over the dress circle is a capacious amphitheater to which the same care in regard to exits has been paid as in the other parts of the house. One feature in connection with the gallery is a fireproof staircase, running underneath the whole length of the back of the house, in addition to three separate exits in other places. The whole building may thus be considered fireproof, so far as immunity from danger to an audience is concerned; and the same may be said in regard to the actors and actresses, whose dressing rooms are in a building separate from the Theatre.

Left - A Programme for an annual Benefit for the Elephant and Castle Theatre manager, Ernest E Norris, who managed the Theatre from 1904 to 1906 in the absence of the lessee and manager Henry Vassall d'Esterre who owned it from 1888 to 1908.

The internal decorations have been executed by Messrs Pashley, Newton, and Young, Red Lionl-square, W.C., from designs furnished by Mr Matcham and Mr H. Spry. The principal colour used is a pale green, the front of the dress circle being paneled out in amber satin.

The ceiling is a circular dome, and over the proscenium is a "cone" - that is to say, the top portion of the proscenium is curved towards the auditorium, increasing the acoustic properties of the building, and being itself an addition, from an ornamental point of view. The Theatre will be lighted by a sunlight containing 206 lights, the whole of the gas arrangements being supplied by Messrs Z. D. Berry and Son, of 10, Buckingham Palace-road, Pimlico.

The builders are Messrs J. H. Brass, of Manor-street, Chelsea, and the whole work has been carried out under the personal superintendance of Mr Frank Matcham, of Rugby Chambers, Bedford-row. Mr Aubrey boasts that no expense has been spared in making this Theatre second to none in London, and from what we have seen of the place we may say with justice that the playgoers of South London are greatly indebted to him for adding to their places of entertainment so handsome, so comfortable and so commodious an establishment...

The Auditorium and Stage of the Coronet Theatre in September 2013 - Photo M. L.

Above - The Auditorium and Stage of the Coronet Theatre in September 2013 - Photo M. L.

The Auditorium of the Coronet Theatre in September 2013 - Photo M. L.

Above - The Auditorium of the Coronet Theatre in September 2013 - Photo M. L.

A Programme for 'Red Riding Hood' at the Elephant & Castle Theatre on January the 28th 1920....On the opening night the National Anthem was sung by the whole company, headed, on this occasion by Mdlle. Du Maurier, whose skill as a vocalist is well known. Mr Aubrey was announced to deliver an inaugural address, but the cares of business and the anxieties attendant upon the opening of a new Theatre prevented, and in his place there appeared Miss Marie Henderson, who was vociferously cheered. "We're glad to see you," roared a stentor in the gallery. "Not more glad than I am to see you," was the response front the stage, and then in a few sentences the clever actress and directress proceeded to thank those present for favours in the past, and for support - which should be well deserved - in the future.

Left - A Programme for 'Red Riding Hood' at the Elephant & Castle Theatre on January the 28th 1920.

A no longer used exit staircase at the Coronet Theatre in September 2013 - Photo M. L.On Monday money was refused at the doors, so great was the attendance, and on Tuesday there was again a crowded audience. The "gods," indeed, were so many that they interfered with their own comfort, and to a great extent defeated their own object in paying for admission, which we presume was to derive some amount of enjoyment from the performance.

Right - A no longer used exit staircase at the Coronet Theatre in September 2013 - Photo M. L.

A considerable portion of this, however, owing to their din, was gone through in dumb show, so far as they were concerned. Raised from the Ashes, if not very novel an idea, is a play thoroughly well calculated to interest the patrons of the house.'

The above text in quotes (edited) was first published in the ERA, 8th June 1879.

The Auditorium and Stage of the Coronet Theatre in September 2013 - Photo M. L.

Above - The Auditorium and Stage of the Coronet Theatre in September 2013 - Photo M. L.

An Occasional Address

Written by William Mackay in 1887

Programme for 'Wrecked in London' at the Elephant & Castle Theatre - August 1st 1887.Of all our friends, we love our old friends best:
Our hearts go out to those who've stood the test
Of time and chance. And who more kind and brave,
And true and patient than our old friend CAVE ?
A boy of nine, he bounded on the stage ;
Who still is young in everything but age.
The Drama then went round in Thespis' cart
Now is pampered and grown wondrous smart.
Some change is noted by a man who's seen
Van Amburgh's lions and the elder Kean
A revolution has swept o'er the stage-
What then we banned is now the rage;
And he whose business is to play a part,
Takes his position in the ranks of Art.
Cinderella - like the Drama - dressed in rags,
She flaunts it now, and with good reason brags
of Palaces and silks and jewel - rare,
Of public favour, and of funds to spare.
To have helped this change he well may boast,
Who here, to-day, is both our guest and host.
Actor and author, manager and man,

Programme for 'Wrecked in London' at the Elephant & Castle Theatre - August 1st 1887.He won our homage when he first began
To please the public fifty years ago -
Alas! time flies for all of us - my Jo!
His rule has reached in London Town
From outcast East to "Marylebone,"
In Westminster he held "Imperial " sway,
He watched "Victoria" in her halcyon day -
Ere tea and coffee drove away the Play;
The "Alhambra" witnessed to his taste and skill,
He wooed the Muses down by Greenwich Hill,
Nay! he is worthy of a regal robe -
Who once aspired to rule the very "Globe."
A merry unaffected monarch he,
The friend of all - without an enemy,
We wish him now, through this unskilled address,
Good luck, God speed, long life, and happiness!
14th June, 1887.

Images Right, and Text Above, from a programme for 'Wrecked in London' at the Elephant & Castle Theatre on August 1st 1887. The text refers to Joseph Arnold Cave who managed the Theatre from 27th October 1883 until the 14th October 1887.

A packed audience at the Elephant and Castle Theatre celebrating the 550th performance of the Elephant Repertory Company on July the 6th 1926 - Kindly Donated by Carl Ridoutt.

Above - A packed audience at the Elephant and Castle Theatre celebrating the 550th performance of the Elephant Repertory Company on July the 6th 1926. From a programme for 'The Dancing Girl' during the Theatre's 'Gala Week' on the 1st of November 1926 (see programme below) - Kindly Donated by Carl Ridoutt whose actor father had kept programmes for the Theatre for many years until he passed away in 2014.

London After Dark (1926)
London After Dark (1926)

The Theatre was reconstructed in 1882 and then again in 1902. In 1924 a long run of repertory under the management of Tod Slaughter and Sidney and Charles Barnard was staged at the Theatre.

A wonderful Film Clip from the film 'London After Dark' can be seen right. The clip is from the BFI Channel and features Tod Slaughter in 'The Flag Lieutenant' by W. P. Drury, at the Elephant and Castle Theatre in 1926. The clip has some shots of Matcham's original 1879 exterior, auditorium, and stage before the 1928 conversion and 1932 reconstruction (Also see photo and programme below).

The Elephant & Castle Theatre during the run of 'The Flag Lieutenant' in 1926 - From the film 'London After Dark' from the BFI Channel.

Above - The Elephant & Castle Theatre during the run of 'The Flag Lieutenant' in 1926 - From the film 'London After Dark' from the BFI Channel (Also see Clip above and programme below).

In 1928 live theatre came to an end at the Elephant and Castle Theatre when it was converted for full time Cinema use. A programme for one of the last live productions at the old Theatre can be seen below.

A Programme for the 'Flag Lieutenant' at the Elephant & Castle Theatre in October 1926 - Kindly Donated by Carl Ridoutt A Programme for the 'Flag Lieutenant' at the Elephant & Castle Theatre in October 1926 - Kindly Donated by Carl Ridoutt A Programme for the 'Flag Lieutenant' at the Elephant & Castle Theatre in October 1926 - Kindly Donated by Carl Ridoutt

Above - Pages from a Programme for the 'Flag Lieutenant' at the Elephant & Castle Theatre in October 1926 - Kindly Donated by Carl Ridoutt whose actor father had kept programmes for the Theatre for many years until he passed away in 2014 (Also see Film Clip and Photograph Above).

One of the last live productions at the old Elephant and Castle Theatre, 1927

Extracts from a Programme for 'Maria Marten' at the Elephant & Castle Theatre in November 1927. Extracts from a Programme for 'Maria Marten' at the Elephant & Castle Theatre in November 1927.

Extracts from a Programme for 'Maria Marten' at the Elephant & Castle Theatre in November 1927.

Above - Extracts from a Programme for 'Maria Marten' at the Elephant & Castle Theatre in November 1927, during the management of the Theatre by Sidney Barnard and owner Charles Barnard. The Theatre was sold the following year and converted to an ABC cinema.

The Elephant and Castle Theatre of 1932

Later - ABC / The Coronet

In 1932 W. R. Glen restructured the Theatre's auditorium in the Art Deco style, for ABC, and reopened the building as a Cinema with stage facilities on the 22nd of December 1932. The Elephant and Castle Theatre was by then standing opposite the much better equipped Trocadero Super Cinema of 1930. This major competition however, didn't effect the old Theatre overly and when the Trocadero was demolished in 1963 the Elephant and Castle Theatre carried on regardless.

The Auditorium and Stage of the Coronet Theatre in September 2013 - Photo M. L.

Above - The Auditorium and Stage of the Coronet Theatre in September 2013 - Photo M. L.

The Stage of the Coronet Theatre in September 2013 - Photo M. L.

Above - The Stage of the Coronet Theatre in September 2013 - Photo M. L.

Two of the old wooden swell shutters for the Theatre's Organ which was in the two rooms behind the grille - Photo M. L. The newly redesigned Cinema of 1932 had a capacity of 2,315 on two levels, stalls and circle, and a Christie 3 Manual 11 Rank organ with illuminated console.

Right - Two of the old wooden swell shutters for the Theatre's Organ which was in the two rooms behind the grille. The blower room is still there with bricked up holes where the air pipes ran.

Despite the change to full time Cinema the stage and dressing rooms of the Theatre were retained and it did play host to the occasional variety show.

The Theatre suffered some damage from a bomb which destroyed buildings beside it during the war and was closed for a month in May and June 1941.

The Auditorium of the Coronet Theatre in September 2013 - Photo M. L.In 1967 the Cinema was renamed ABC and the facade was covered in blue sheet metal cladding, something it retains to this day unfortunately, although the earlier facade still exists underneath. The conversion also included closing the circle and altering the stalls into a so called 'luxury lounge cinema.'

Left - The Auditorium of the Coronet Theatre in September 2013 - Photo M. L.

A Programme for 'The Dancing Girl' which was staged at the Elephant and Castle Theatre during the Theatre's 'Second Anniversary Gala Week' on the 1st of November 1926 - Kindly Donated by Carl Ridoutt.In January 1981 the Theatre was tripled and reopened on the 7th of May the same year with a 546 seat cinema in the former circle, and two screens in the former rear stalls seating 271 and 211 respectively.

Right - A Programme for 'The Dancing Girl' which was staged at the Elephant and Castle Theatre during the Theatre's 'Second Anniversary Gala Week' on the 1st of November 1926 - Kindly Donated by Carl Ridoutt. In the cast were N. Carter Slaughter, Geoffrey Carlile. Ronald Brandon, Harry Tresham, George Hamilton, C. Douglas Carlile, Frank Corfield, Wm. J. Miller, Floyd Gwynne, Ivy Shepherd, Gladys Spencer, Dodo Watts, Grace Sweeting, Greta Wood, Ivy Shepherd, Gladys Spencer, and Sadie Martin.

In June 1986 the Cinema was taken over by the independent chain of Coronet Cinemas and renamed the Coronet Cinema. This lasted until the 23rd of September 1999 when it was closed.

The Theatre then remained empty for four years until a major £2m refurbishment programme was begun on the building. This included de-tripling the auditorium, restoring it's 1920s internal decoration, reopening the original Gallery, and leveling the Stalls.

The building was subsequently reopened on the 19th of April 2003 as a multi purpose venue hosting club nights, live music events, and film screenings. For some internal images of the Coronet during this period, showing the internal structure of the Theatre Click Here. The venue closed in 2007 due to an incident involving a firearm.

The Baclcony of the Coronet Theatre in September 2013 - Photo M. L.

Above - The Baclcony of the Coronet Theatre in September 2013 - Photo M. L. The Plush Seating and Architectural Features are still all in place even today.

The Baclcony of the Coronet Theatre in September 2013 - Photo M. L.

Above - The Baclcony of the Coronet Theatre in September 2013 - Photo M. L.

The Coronet Theatre, formerly the Elephant & Castle Theatre, clad in sheet metal and looking rather sorry for itself, in July 2008 - Photo M.L.By 2008 the Coronet was looking very sad externally and it was hard to believe that anything could be going on inside the building although the occasional concert was in fact being staged there.

Left - The Coronet Theatre, formerly the Elephant & Castle Theatre, clad in sheet metal and looking rather sorry for itself, in July 2008 - Photo M.L.

However, in 2009 refurbishment work was carried out again to the building and the Coronet Theatre, as it is called today, is looking a lot more healthy. Despite its name however, it is not really a Theatre but a Nightclub which also plays host to live music events and such like. The Coronet's own website has details of forthcoming attractions.

Despite all the name changes, and changes of use over the years, the building still retains much of its original 1879 structure externally, although partly hidden by the 1967 cladding, and its 1930s Art Deco auditorium and decoration internally.

Part of the Facade of the Elephant and Castle Theatre, now hidden behind the blue cladding of the Coronet Theatre, can still be seen in this photograph taken in September 2013 - Photo M. L.

Above - Part of the Facade of the Elephant and Castle Theatre, now hidden behind the blue cladding of the Coronet Theatre, can still be seen in this photograph taken in September 2013 - Photo M. L.

The Rear Elevation of the Coronet Theatre, formerly the Elephant and Castle Theatre, in a photograph taken in 2008 - Photo M.L.

Above - The Rear Elevation of the Coronet Theatre, formerly the Elephant and Castle Theatre, in a photograph taken in 2008

 Members of the Theatres Trust and Press gather in the foyer of the Coronet Theatre in September 2013 to attend the Theatres Trust Buildings at risk Register launch event.In September 2013 the Theatre was added to the Theatres Trust Buildings at risk Register (TBAR) as redevelopment of the Elephant and Castle area threatens the building's future. Many people will be unaware of the wonderful Art Deco Theatre that hides behind the ugly blue cladding of the Coronet today, or the fact that although it is considerably altered since it was first built in 1879, it is still an important building, not least because it was the first Theatre designed by the now renowned Theatre Architect Frank Matcham.

Right - Members of the Theatres Trust and Press gather in the foyer of the Coronet Theatre in September 2013 to attend the Theatres Trust Buildings at risk Register launch event.

You may like to visit the Coronet's own website here.

The Coronet Theatre displaying the hashtag #savethecoronet in October 2014 - Photo M.L.If you are concerned by the redevelopment of the Coronet Theatre then you may like to sign the petition which is attempting to help save it, or see #savethecoronet.

Left - The Coronet Theatre displaying the hashtag #savethecoronet in October 2014 - Photo M.L.

If you have any more information or images for this Theatre that you are willing to share please Contact me.

Photographs of the Coronet Theatre in September 2013 on this page were taken during a tour of the building kindly arranged by the management of the Theatre during the Theatres Trust Buildings at risk Register launch event.

The Elephant and Castle Regeneration

Article from the Illustrated London News of April the 3rd 1965 on the opening of the then new Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre - Click to Enlarge.The Elephant and Castle area is currently undergoing major redevelopment and the Coronet Theatre is part of this. It is hoped that rather than demolishing the building a redesign for the Theatre would include removing the ugly blue cladding and exposing and restoring its original Facade.

A website featuring all the details and dates for the regeneration of the Elephant and Castle area can be found here.

If you are concerned by the redevelopment of the Coronet Theatre then you may like to sign the petition which is attempting to help save it.

Right - An article from the Illustrated London News of April the 3rd 1965 on the opening of the then new Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre - Click to Enlarge.

See also in this area:

The Trocadero Super Cinema.

The Elephant & Castle Estate of 1898 and the Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre of 1965.

Archive newspaper reports on this page were kindly collated and sent in for inclusion by B.F.