Victory for the Odeon, Shaftesbury Avenue

Congratulations to everyone who supported the campaign to preserve what was the Saville Theatre.  To locals who appeared as CGCA’s witnesses and gave evidence in the first days of the hearing.  And to the many people who attended the proceedings whose presence was important to show the extent of local interest.

The Beatles at the Saville Theatre in 1965 after collecting their MBEs.   Sadly, the murals are lost.

Special thanks go to the CGCA’s own volunteers who led the campaign, and to our two expert witnesses who also donated their time.

Paul Velluet, the architect and great friend of Covent Garden who cut through the legal nit-picking to focus everyone on the harm to the unspoiled building and its legacy.

And Jane Palm-Gold, our local historian who brought to life the cultural legacy of the venue.


Programme for the first show at the Saville Theatre in 1931 – hardly changed on the outside as the Odeon we see today.

All this strengthened our cause for ‘conservation’, rather than the ‘gut and stuff’ job that our team felt better described the destructive proposals, even if they hadn’t included several hotel floors of shiny glass being plonked on top of this Art Deco gem.

Details of what was proposed are here.

The Inquiry hearing was a bit of a marathon in the end – stretching from early December right into January, but hopefully it was worth the effort.

The planning inspector’s report and judgment is at this link.

CGCA is submitting information to Historic England to expand the listed building description for a better defence against unsympathetic development proposals in the future.


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