|Hammersmith Apollo's Facelift to be Complete by End of August|
New improved venue will be ready for first concert in September by Selena Gomez
Improvements to Hammersmith's most famous venue, the Apollo are on course to be completed by the end of August, in time for its first gig on September 7 by Selena Gomez.
As we revealed in June, the Apollo is receiving a major facelift, including new lighting, seating and additional facilities for wheelchair users.
Now new owners AEG Live and CTS Eventim have released further details of what they descibe as a multi-million pound refurbishment, promising to give the venue a new lease of life and return the iconic Grade II* listed building to its original 1932 glory.
They say: " The renovation is being meticulously overseen by the award-winning Foster Wilson Architects and is scheduled for completion at the end of August, ahead of the first gig in the refurbished venue on September 7th.
" Highlights will include fixtures and fittings to original designs, restoration of the ornate plasterwork and historically sensitive decoration to match the original paint scheme.
" The refurbishment will also revive the two marble staircases currently concealed beneath the extended stage, as well as restoration of the original foyer floor mosaic panels, whilst in the circle the original windows will be revealed allowing natural light to once again flood the circle bar.
" New multi-coloured LED lighting on the façade will highlight the new venue’s prominence.
" For the customer, the works include newly constructed bars and new seats in the stalls, whilst the seats in the circle will be raised in height and re-upholstered improving legroom and comfort. By re-organising the stalls seating layout, the venue has been able to double the space available for wheelchair users. "
The Hammersmith Apollo Theatre was building in 1932 as The Gaumont Palace Theatre. The original architect was Robert Cromie and the building is listed Grade II*. With a seating capacity of 3,500, it is one of London’s largest theatres.
The venue originally opened on 28 March 1932 as the Gaumont Palace cinema, designed in the Art Deco style by renowned theatre architect Robert Cromie (who was also responsible for the renovation of the Prince of Wales Theatre in Drury Lane in the 1920s). The building is one of the United Kingdom’s biggest and best-preserved Art Deco super cinemas. The building still has its original 1932 Compton pipe organ, a rarity today, which was removed from the building in the 1990s only to be put back and fully restored in 2007. Organs were a popular feature of cinemas in the pre-war period and were used to entertain visitors during film intervals.
The venue was created as a collaboration between exhibitor Israel Davis and the Gaumont British Theatres chain and originally had 3,487 seats. The opening programme included Tom Walls’ “A Night Like This” and Helen Twelvetrees in "Bad Company".
Colin Chapple, Chief Operating Officer – AEG Live “As the new owners AEG and CTS Eventim recognised that London deserved more from one of its foremost venues. With a passion for delivering a high standard of comfort to the fan the changes we are making in seating, ventilation and the bar operations will ensure they will enjoy the best music and comedy talent in a wonderful venue capturing the original Art Deco heritage.”