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The Grade II Listed Brighton Hippodrome in Middle Street, Brighton was originally built in 1897 as an Ice Rink but was later converted to a Theatre in 1900 by the renowned Theatre Architect Frank Matcham

The Theatres Trust Guide says that the Hippodrome ‘is now probably the best surviving example of a circus – variety theatre in Britain. The auditorium of the Theatre, which has a capacity of 1,400 or thereabouts, is circular in shape and has one balcony following the lines of the walls with seven rows. There are also two large boxes, one either side of the wide procenium. The ceiling of the auditorium is still in its original condition and looks wonderful as it rises high up above the stalls in a richly plastered dome. For many years the theatre was used as a Bingo hall but if you stepped into its foyer you were greeted with much the same sight as you would have seen a hundred years before.

The management of the building were still clearly proud of the building’s heritage as there was a large Scrapbook on display in the foyer detailing the theatre’s history with many fascinating pictures and articles. They would also let you peer into the vast and lavish auditorium which was little changed from its former use. The theatre is readily convertible back to theatrical use on a large scale and one can only hope that sometime in the future this will happen.[expand title=”SHOW CAMPAIGN TIMELINE” swaptitle=”HIDE CAMPAIGN TIMELINE”]

22 OCTOBER 2013