PIN Apollo Theatre
A West End Theatre - Louis XIV Style
The West End`s Apollo Theatre is a Grade II listed theatre, on Shaftesbury Avenue in the City of Westminster, London. Designed by architect Lewin Sharp for owner Henry Lowenfield, it was the fourth legitimate theatre to be constructed on the street and was specifically designed to house musical theatre.
The Apollo Theatre has a first floor central loggia, inside there is a three galleried auditorium with elaborate plasterwork. The theatre seats 796, and the balcony on the 3rd tier is considered the steepest in London.
The Apollo`s doors opened on 21 February 1901 with the American musical comedy The Belle of Bohemia. The production was followed by John Martin-Harvey`s season, including A Cigarette Maker`s Romance and The Only Way, an adaptation of Charles Dickens` A Tale of Two Cities. This was followed by a series of Edwardian musical comedies produced by George Edwards. These did not find much success, and the theatre was taken over by impresario Tom B. Davis, who brought a number of variety acts and plays to the theatre during his tenure. However for a theatre that had been designed for musicals, its full potential was not being met.
The Apollo Theatre was the first in London to be built in the Edwardian period, it was renovated by Schaufelberg in 1932, and a private foyer and ante room were installed to the Royal Box. The sculpted work on the stone fascia is by T. Simpson, the building is of plain brick to the neighbouring streets.
The Stoll Moss Group purchased the Apollo Theatre in 1975 and sold it to Andrew Lloyd-Webber's Really Useful Group and Bridgepoint Capital in 2000. Nica Burns and Max Weitzenhoffer purchased the theatre and several others in 2005, creating Nimax Theatres, which still owns the venue.
The Apollo is an absolute Victorian gem, handsomely decorated in red and gold, with an abundance of golden cherubs and feeling like the inside of a velvet trimmed treasure chest. Seats, if a little snug, are comfortable, with a good angle and excellent views to the stage. Staff are charming, friendly and helpful.
How to get there:
For those arriving at the Apollo by train, the nearest railway station takes the form of Charing Cross. Then, if the London underground is utilised to get to the venue itself, the nearest tube station is Piccadilly Circus followed by Leicester Square. Oxford Circus and Tottenham Court Road are also within relative proximity.
As public transport is the best way of travelling in the centre of London, audiences may also choose to travel by bus, in which case a number of services operate in the area. Then if patrons choose to travel by car, there is an NCP at Newport Place and Denman Street, plus council-run car parks at Poland Street and China Town. Two parking bays can also be accessed on Winnett Street.
- , Theatreland
- , Downtown Westminster