Saville Theatre

The Saville Theatre is a former West End theatre at 135 Shaftesbury Avenue in the London Borough of Camden. The theatre opened in 1931, and became a music venue during the 1960s. In 1970 it became the two cinemas ABC1 Shaftesbury Avenue and ABC2 Shaftesbury Avenue, which in 2001 were converted to the four-screen cinema Odeon Covent Garden.HistoryTheatre yearsThe theatre was designed by the architect Sir Thomas Bennett, in consultation with Bertie Crewe, and opened on 8 October 1931, with a play with music by H.F. Maltby, For The Love Of Mike.The theatre benefited from a capacity of 1,426 on three levels and a stage that was 31.5ft wide, with a depth of 30.5ft. The interior was opulent, The Stage reviewed the new theatre on its openingThe stalls bar and saloon lounge adjoining, will please the public, special care has been exercised in their equipment and decoration. The bar, which has mural paintings by Mr A. R. Thompson, is 18 ft by 54 ft in front of the counters, while the lounge, which is also decorated by the same artist, is 42 ft by 40 ft. There is a sort of shopping arcade in and about the lounge, as in the up-to-date hotels, and it is quite big enough for tea dances or concerts. So comfortable, indeed, are the lounge and the bar at the Saville, that it is to be feared that something more than a warning bell will be necessary to clear themThe theatre was damaged by bombing in 1941, but reopened quickly allowing Up and Running by Firth Shephard to complete a run of 603 performances. In 1955, the interior was completely refurbished by Laurence Irving, and John Collins created a new mural for the stalls bar. In 1963, a musical adaption of the Pickwick Papers premièred on 4 July 1963, featuring Harry Secombe in his first role in a musical. It was a success, remaining in the West End for two years and going on to tour the US, with a run on Broadway.

Address

135 Shaftesbury Ave
London
W1D 5BB

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