Report - - Brighton Hippodrome, Brighton, East Sussex, July 2012 | Theatres and Cinemas | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Brighton Hippodrome, Brighton, East Sussex, July 2012


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28DL Full Member

The former Brighton Hippodrome is an entertainment venue in the ancient centre of Brighton on Middle Street. It has been empty and out of use since 2007, when its use as a bingo hall ceased, but since its construction in 1897 it has hosted an ice rink, circus acts, variety theatre, vaudeville shows and bands such as the Beatles and Rolling Stones. The flamboyantly decorated interior, with a large auditorium and Rococo embellishments, survives despite the frequent alterations. English Heritage has listed the building at Grade II for its architectural and historical importance.

Land on the east side of the street was chosen as the site of Brighton Ice Rink in 1897. The venture was unsuccessful, as ice-skating did not gain popularity; and in 1900, the venue was sold for conversion into a theatre. Frank Matcham, a prolific theatre architect, was engaged to enlarge and rebuild the interior. The building was renamed The Hippodrome and reopened in its new form in 1901. The following year, more work was carried out, and on 22 December 1902 the Hippodrome reopened as a variety theatre and circus.
The venue's early success led to expansion in 1939: it was extended on the site of two houses on the north side, increasing the capacity of its main auditorium to 1,400. Its overall capacity was 3,000, although an attendance of 4,500 was recorded on one occasion.

Repairs were carried out on the coloured glass awnings above the entrance in the early 1990s. The building remained in use as a bingo hall until 2007, but closed in that year and is still empty as of 2012. In 2008, property investment firm Cheval Properties bought it and leased it to Academy Music Group (AMG).

Explored with friends, non 28dl members: Alex, Maris, Laura, Tom, Patrick, Ali and Eris.

The building has 6 IR sensors, and the alarm went off, we only had half an hour. It is really difficult to get in now, but still possible. Extremely sorry for the photo quality - dust is in the air, complete darkness and I only had a torch on the phone, shaky cheap tripod and my first time.










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