Streatham Hill Theatre [by FoSHT]
A ‘sleeping beauty’: a lavish 1920’s theatre which brought the West End to Streatham, waiting to be reawoken.
Streatham Hill Theatre was built in 1928/9 (by architects WGR Sprague and WH Barton) and operated as a theatre from 1929. It was damaged by bombing in 1944 then restored and reopened as a theatre in 1950. It remained a theatre until 1962. As a theatre it presented a wide range of entertainment: plays, revues, concerts, opera, ballet, pantomimes, film etc.
In 1962 it was taken over by Mecca Social Club as the largest bingo hall in Britain. It operated as a social club and bingo hall under various operators until 2017. It also staged some shows, pantomimes, wrestling etc. in the early part of this period.
In 1994 the theatre was granted a Grade 2 listing as “an unusually lavish example of a theatre built in the short-lived revival of building in 1929-30; as a suburban example of this date the building may be unique”. Ref: https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1244564
From 2013 the theatre also hosted events and exhibitions for the annual Streatham Festival, and Film Festival. Local open-access Streatham Theatre Company has staged performances, promenade site-specific performances, and guided tours attracting the community to the theatre.
In 2018 the theatre was added to the Theatres Trust register of theatres at risk. Ref: http://www.theatrestrust.org.uk/assets/000/000/799/2018_TheatresTrust_Theatresatrisk_assessment_register_and_map_web_original.pdf?1516114610 and https://database.theatrestrust.org.uk/resources/theatres/show/2522-streatham-hill
The building can be brought back into use quickly for arts and cultural purposes, starting by continuing and expanding such activities which had to cease when the building closed, then through a phased programme of restoration to support further activities.
Find out more and help the Friends reawaken this sleeping beauty on our website http://www.streathamhilltheatre.org