(detail)27.11.1806 | 1st. theatre opened
Opened as the Sans Pareil with Miss Scott's Entertainment.
(detail)1840 | alteration
A new "composition" facade to the theatre, designed by Samuel Beazley, was added in 1840.
(detail)X.9.1848 | alteration
Some reconstruction and new interior decorations were carried out by Digby Wyatt, the style being suggested by his collection of Louis XIV. engravings.
(detail)2.2.1858 | closure
The theatre, having fallen into "incurable disrepair," was closed for demolition.
(detail)1858 | construction
A new theatre was built to the designs of T. H. Wyatt, the work being done by J. Willson. It was larger than the old building and was much wider. It had an act-drop by Clarkson Stanfield.
(detail)27.12.1858 | 2nd theatre opened
Opened with Mr. Webster's Company is requested at a Photographic Soiree, an introductory apropos sketch, by Edmund Yates and H. Harrington, followed by an occasional address written by Shirley Brooks and speech by Sarah Woolgar. Capacity was of 1500 seats.
(detail)1879 | alteration
It was renovated and redecorated.
(detail)1887 | alteration
In 1887, the theatre was reconstructed and carried out extensive redecorations. A public house known as the Hampshire Hog, 410 Strand, and the next house, number 409, together with the Nell Gwynne Tavern in Bull Inn Court, were purchased in order to enlarge the theatre. A new enlarged facade, part of which still remains as Queensland House, was built. The architect was Spencer Chadwick. The reopening play was The Bells of Easternere.
(detail)1901 | alteration
The theatre was almost completely reconstructed in March 1901, with an extended frontage, this time westward (the Queensland Government coming into possession of the other part), and the stage door moved to Maiden Lane. The remodelling was the work of Ernest Runtz.
(detail)X.9.1901 | 3rd theatre
Opened as the Century Theatre with The Whirl of the Town, a musical absurdity by Hugh Morton, music by Gustave Kerker. Capacity was 1297 seats.
(detail)1930 | alteration
In 1930 the theatre was again reconstructed, the architect being Ernest Schaufelberg. As a result of this rebuilding nothing remained of the old theatres except the outer walls and the Royal Entrance beside the stage door in Maiden Lane. (The part of the 1887 frontage, now Queensland House, also remains.) The vestibule and main staircase were carried out in black marble, relieved by deep rose-coloured doors, chromium-plated grilles, and Lalique fountain lights and Sunray trough-lighting. The house was also refronted in imitation black and grey marble.
(detail)3.12.1930 | opening of the fourth theatre
Opened with Ever Green, a musical show by Benn W. Levy, lyrics by Lorenz Hart, music by Richard Rodgers.
Capacity: 1522 seats.
English theatre architect, designer of the Lyceum, the St. James's, the City of London, that part of the Adelphi fronting on the Strand, and the colonnade of Drury Lane. His buildings, though plain and somewhat uninteresting, were good and well adapted for their purpose. A prolific dramatist, mainly of ephemeral farces and short comedies, Beazley was also responsible for poor translations of several operatic libretti.
IN: Hartnoll, Phyllis, ed. The concise Oxford companion to the theatre. 1st ed. London: Oxford University Press, 1972. ISBN 0-19-281102-9. p. 8
The present Adelphi Theatre is virtually the fourth new theatre on the site, though the earlier theatres underwent many reconstructions, and parts of the buildings have overlapped and remained incorporated in their successors.
The Adelphi Theatre has clean geometric lines in the art deco style, designed by Ernest Schaufelberg in the 1930 during rebuilding of the theatre.
"The reconstructed Adelphi Theatre is designed with a complete absence of curves. Externally and internally the entire conception is carried out in straight lines and angles, the angle of thirty-two degrees being used as the master note. Considerable public attention was rivetted on the work during its final stages, owing to the big hustle performed by the builders to keep to the schedule. It is understood that the theatre was to open on November 24, and that the owners were to pay Mr Cochran a penalty of £450 for every day they were late in handing over the theatre. . . . The lower half of the walls and fronts of the two circles has been panelled in wood of a deep orange colour, perfectly plain, polished and with no decorative motif whatsoever. This, with the general colour scheme of orange, green, and gold, with bronze insets on the underside of the circles, gives a most bizarre and opulent atmosphere."
IN: "Trigonometry in the Theatre" Architects' Journal (3 December 1930)
MANDER, Raymond a MITCHESON, Joe. The theatres of London. 2. Ed., rev. London: R. Hart-Davis, 1963. 292 p. 14 -20
Authors: Raymond Mander, Joe Mitcheson, Victor Glasstone
Victor Glasstone:Her Majesty's Theatre
, Adelphi Theatre
, Criterion Theatre
, Grand Theatre and Opera House
, Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatre
, Savoy Theatre
, Playhouse Theatre
, Empire Theatre
, Garrick Theatre
, Festival Theatre
, King's Theatre
, Shaftesbury Theatre
, Prince's Theatre
, Globe Theatre
, Tivoli Music Hall
, Aldwych Theatre
, The Royal Pavilion Theatre
, Imperial Theatre
, Theatre Royal
, Empire Music Hall
, Edinburgh International Festival Theatre
, Royal Duchess Theatre
, Gielgud Theatre
, London Opera House
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