The Apollo Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue

Lyric, Apollo, and Gielgud

As previously noted, next to the Lyric Theatre–the oldest original building on the theatre street–sits the Apollo, and further down the street on the corner, the Gielgud. The Apollo opened February 21, 1901, with the American musical The Belle of Bohemia. The architects for the Art Nouveau building were Lewin Sharp and George Kister. Builder Walter Wallis constructed the theatre for owner Henry Lowenfield. The Apollo was the 4th theatre to be constructed on the street and it was designed specifically for musical theatre.

Wallis used “plain London brick” for the Renaissance style front facade. The sculpted stone fascia is by T. Simpson. The four levels of the auditorium were decorated in the Louis XIV style by Hubert van Hooydonk. The interior was renovated in 1932. In 2013 following a period of heavy rain, a portion of the 4th level ceiling collapsed during a production resulting in a range of injuries, but no fatalities. The deterioration of cloth and plaster supports original to the 1901 construction were the cause.

This entry was posted in London, Renaissance Revival, Theatres and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Apollo Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue

  1. Beth says:

    How interesting, and oh my, these buildings are lovely! In my reading of the Royal Family I learned that the theater was always a popular entertainment for the Royals. I need to skim back through books and see if seeing productions at either of the theaters you’ve posted are mentioned!

    Liked by 1 person

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