Alexandra Palace, the original People’s Palace, has launched a fundraising campaign to bring its stunning ‘secret’ Victorian Theatre back to life.
Closed for more than 80 years, it wants to bring the theatre, which dates back to 1875, back to life for theatrical performances, cinema screenings, comedy and live music, open its doors in 2018.
Alexandra Palace, between Muswell Hill and Wood Green in the north of the city, was originally opened in 1873 and designed to serve as a public centre of recreation, education and entertainment and as north London’s counterpart to The Crystal Palace in south London.
The Victorian Theatre, which is on English Heritage‘s Buildings at Risk register, is part of a larger East Wing Restoration Project which will transform the eastern end of Alexandra Palace into a new cultural destination, while doing justice to the building’s rich and eclectic history, representing the largest investment in Alexandra Palace for a generation.
The theatre is an incredible piece of history, the existence of which is not widely known. It remains frozen in time, with much of the original décor and rare stage machinery still in place. It was created to showcase opera, musicals, plays and all kinds of entertainment – ‘wonder and spectacle’ for the people. It even hosted early cinema screenings.
Louise Stewart, chief executive of Alexandra Park and Palace Charitable Trust, said: “The theatre has been hidden away for over 80 years, which has created a unique and atmospheric space which you can’t fail to be moved by. Alexandra Palace is the original ‘Peoples Palace’, held in trust for the public to enjoy forever, so we are appealing to the public to help us to make sure that this truly wonderful space can once again delight and entertain them, the audience it was intended for.”
For information on how to support the Victorian Theatre’s renovation, visit support.alexandrapalace.com