Prince Edward Theatre
Time Out says
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This imposing brick theatre has housed some of the West End's biggest musicals
This handsome ‘30s theatre has had a chequered history. Its early days were all about cabaret glitz. Josephine Baker danced there in her famous banana skirt, in the London premiere of her famous act, before the theatre was converted into a dance hall with live performances in 1935. During the war, it was badly damaged in a bombing raid and turned into an air services club. In the postwar years, it entered a new chapter by being the first UK home of 'Cinerama', an enhanced '50s style of movie tech that introduced audiences to high octane immersive spectacles using a giant curved screen and three separate projectors.
As Cinerama lost its allure in the '70s, the Prince Edward finally returned to use as a theatre, reopening with the world premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1978 smash hit ‘Evita’. On a roll, it went on to host the premieres of long-running jukebox musicals 'Mamma Mia!' (which is still playing at Novello Theatre) and 'Jersey Boys'. Today, a trip to the Prince Edward Theatre means Disney: the mouse impresario's 'Aladdin' is a firm favourite with families.
Prince Edward Theatre boasts a vast auditorium with 1,714 seats and two balconies. Its dark red brick facade, styled after an Italian palazzo, was the first to inhabit the small area originally as the West End when it opened in 1930, but it was joined by the Cambridge and the Phoenix shortly afterwards. Inside, its restored art deco interior glows with gilt, and shades of red and rose gold.
Old Compton Street
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