The building used to be the ‘Saville Theatre’ and is an unspoilt gem of 1930’s architecture. You can see what it was like in its glory days at the theatre history website here. It narrowly missed destruction in World War II, and continued to thrive until 1970 when it became a cinema. It was also famous for its weekend gigs, started by Brian Epstein when he was managing the Beatles, where everyone from The Who to Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd performed. We have put together a short video montage that you can see here.
The Saville Theatre in 1958
Well-known theatre owners would be prepared to buy the building and turn it back into a theatre with minimal alteration and full refurbishment. The current owner of the building is Haim Danous (founder of Thai Square restaurants), and we thought he would be keen to take up their offers, but he is pressing on with plans for a hotel with restaurants and bars instead. Camden council rejected his plans in 2018, but he is appealing to the Planning Inspector – which means that we need to put up a renewed and stronger fight to keep this last theatre in the West End.
Please feel free to register to attend the Appeal inquiry and listen to some of it, and even to speak. Several local people and experts will appear as our witnesses, but that doesn’t stop others from adding their voices. The inquiry is being held online from 1st December to 15th December. Issues relating to residential amenity are on the agenda for the first two days.
Please drop an email to info@CoventGarden.org.uk if you would like details of how to register, or call Amanda at CGCA on 07957 388801.
Here at Covent Garden Community Association (CGCA) we are looking forward to seeing our neighbourhood re-open for business. For those of us who can, we will need to support our local businesses more than ever in the absence of many visitors.
However, the situation also carries some concerns for the community. For example, we are working very hard to get an amendment to the ‘Business & Planning’ Bill that went through the House of Commons rather quickly on Monday 29th June. We believe that measures to deal with the full impact of some points have not been dealt with in the wording. Westminster council, and the amenity societies in central London, are aligned on this. As is Nickie Aiken, our MP on the Westminster side. But we need to work fast. To this end we have chosen what we believe to be the most glaring issue to highlight for amendment. (more…)
Here at Covent Garden Community Association (CGCA) we are continuing all our usual planning, licensing and environmental work – especially in relation to community safety which is, unfortunately, quite an issue at the moment. There just won’t be any live presentations from developers until restrictions are eased. And, sadly, the May Fayre has had to be cancelled so we won’t see you out in the sunshine then.
Local organisations are are dividing things up between us to support our community, trying not to duplicate efforts. (more…)