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Scala Theatre

Francis Thomas Verity

alias Hyde's Rooms (1786–1802), Prince of Wales's Royal Theatre (1865-1882), Fitzroy Theatre (1833–1835, 1837–1839), Scala Theatre (1905-1969), Cognoscenti Theatre (1802–1808), Regency Theatre (1815–1820), King's Concert Rooms (1780–1786), New Theatre (1808–1815), West London Theatre (1820–1831), Queen's Theatre (1831–1833, 1835–1837,1839-1865)
history of the theatresupplementtechnical dataHistoric equipment

Important events

(detail)70. 's 18. century | Alteration
The building was enlarged by James Wyatt.
(detail)1772 | opening
The first theatre on the site opened in 1772.
(detail)1905 | opening
The theatre was designed by Frank Verity with the seating for 1,139 spectators.
(detail)1969 | demolition



This theatre opened as the King's Concert Rooms in 1772, became the Tottenham Street Theatre in 1810, and in Dec. 1814 was sold to the father of the well-known scene painter William Beverley. He re-named it the Regency Theatre, but it had little success, and in 1820 was reopened by Brunton as the West London, his daughter Elizabeth, who later married the actor Frederick Yates, starring in many of his productions. The theatre was constantly in trouble with the Patent Theatres and was closed for several years, reopening in 1831 as the Queen's or alternatively the Fitzroy. It had a chequered career, sank to lurid melodrama, and was nicknamed the 'Dust Hole'. In 1865, taken over by Marie Wilton, it was completely redecorated, renamed (by royal permission) the Prince of Wales, and reopened in the presence of the future Edward VII with immediate success. It was under the management of the Bancrofts that the epoch-making plays of J. W. Robertson were first produced, beginning with Society in 1865.... In 1882 the theatre was condemned as structurally unsound and was closed, remaining derelict for some years and then being used as a Salvation Army hostel. In 1903 it was demolished.


In: Hartnoll, Phyllis, ed. The concise Oxford companion to the theatre. 1st ed. London: Oxford University Press, 1972.   ISBN 0-19-281102-9. p. 489


In 1903, Dr. Edmund Distin Maddick bought the property, and adjoining properties, and enlarged the site. The main entrance was now situate on Charlotte Street, and the old portico, on Tottenham Street became the stage door. The new theatre, designed by Frank Verity, opened in 1905, as The Scala Theatre, seating 1,139 and boasting a large stage. The new venture was not particularly successful, however, and became a cinema from 1911–1918, run by Charles Urban. In 1918, F. J. Nettlefold took over and ran the premises as a theatre again.

In: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scala_Theatre





Author: Hartnoll Phyllis

Additional information

It became known as the New Scala in 1923, with D.A. Abrahams as licensee for both staging plays and showing films, becoming owner in 1925. Amateur productions and pantomime were performed, and for a while the theatre became home to the Gang Show. During World War II, it again housed professional theatre, reverting to the Scala Theatre. After the war, under the management of Prince Littler, amateur productions returned, with Peter Pan being the annual pantomime. This continued until 1969 when, after a fire, it was demolished for the building of offices, known as Scala House. In 1964, the theatre was used by The Beatles for the concert sequences in the film A Hard Day\\\'s Night. Today it is the site of an apartment block.

Joseph T. Rufer - 05.09. 2019

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