Theatres at Risk



B Hippo as a MH 1902

Brighton Hippodrome as Music Hall in 1902


Academy Music Group, the major music venue operator, purchased the freehold of Frank Matcham’s Brighton Hippodrome earlier this year (2015). It then engaged with all the main stakeholders, including the Frank Matcham Society, to carry out a six month viability study to identify a future use for this unique Grade II* former circus variety theatre. The report, just released, concludes that there is a future for the Hippodrome. Brighton Hippodrome CIC has been set up to raise funds to purchase the building and lead a development project, with the stakeholder group acting as advisors. See the Brighton Hippodrome CIC Partnership statement here.

This great survivor is the most important of Frank Matcham’s works no longer in beneficial use. It is in the top six percent of all listed buildings in the UK and has the potential to be a major cultural asset to Brighton and the region. Please continue your support so that this opportunity is not to be missed to make it so. Follow the Our Brighton Hippodrome campaign news pages here.






It is a sad reflection on our government, local authorities, listing processes and the property owners desire for maximising the amount of money to be made, all at the expense of the communities they claim to serve, that so many theatre buildings have been lost to car parks, luxury apartments or student flats, without any thought to what created the community and would maintain it to entertain and enrich the peoples lives. Hundreds of theatres have been lost and more are still at risk. Click here to view the Theatres Trust 2016 list of Theatre Buildings At Risk



Granville Fulham (lost) drawing V&A Theatre Archive

Granville Fulham (lost) water damaged drawing © V&A Theatre Archive

In some cases, theatres lost to demolition are replaced by a new theatre. Unfortunately this is not always the case. The Theatres Trust publishes a list of all theatres by town, including those in other uses, disused or demolished. The incomparable Arthur Lloyd website also has a list of London’s lost theatres which includes historical details and many illustrations. It is also possible to search for more information about recently lost theatres such as the Nelson Palace, now a parking lot, and the Wallsend Borough, demolished for affordable housing.



Brighton Hippodrome
Burnley Empire
Coronet Elephant and Castle
Derby Hippodrome
Dudley Hippodrome
Eccles Crown
Futurist Scarborough
Garston Empire
Hulme Hippodrome
Morecambe Winter Gardens
Plymouth Palace
Salford Victoria
Swansea Palace
Swindon Mechanics Institute
Tameside Hippodrome
Theatre Royal Hyde
Theatre Royal Peter Street Manchester