Coronet Theatre, London

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The Coronet Theatre, formerly The Print Room, is an Off West End theatre located in the former Coronet Cinema in London. The building has its origins as a theatre in 1898; the modern company was founded in Westbourne Grove, West London, and opened in September 2010.[1] It produces a programme of theatre, art, dance, poetry, film and music.[2] The theatre is run by Artistic Director Anda Winters.[3]

The Coronet Theatre Notting Hill
Full nameThe Coronet Theatre
Former namesCoronet Theatre (1898–1950)
Gaumont Theatre (1950–1977)
Coronet Cinema (1977–2014)
The Print Room at the Coronet (2014–May 2019)
The Coronet Theatre (May 2019 - present)
Address103–111 Notting Hill Gate, London W11 3LB
LocationLondon
Coordinates51°30′31″N 0°11′53″W / 51.508582°N 0.198158°W / 51.508582; -0.198158Coordinates: 51°30′31″N 0°11′53″W / 51.508582°N 0.198158°W / 51.508582; -0.198158
Public transitNotting Hill Gate Underground station
TypeTheatre 2014 - present
Cinema 1923–2014
Capacityoriginally 1,143 seats
388 + 151 seats as a cinema
At present as a theatre 195 seats
Construction
Built1898
Opened1898 (1898)
Renovated1923, 1931, 1950, 1977, 1996, 2014
Construction cost£25,000
ArchitectW. G. R. Sprague
Website
https://www.thecoronettheatre.com/

The Coronet Theatre currently operates using the 195-seat main auditorium, and a smaller, 100-seat black box theatre and studio space called The Print Room.[4][5]

The Coronet Theatre stages lesser-known work by classic authors such as T.S Eliot, Arthur Miller and Harold Pinter, and new works by contemporary dramatists such as Brian Friel and Will Eno.[6]

HistoryEdit

Building originsEdit

The Coronet Theatre was designed as a theatre by leading architect W. G. R. Sprague at a cost of £25,000 and opened in 1898. It was described in The Era as a "theatre of which the whole country may be proud".[7] Famous actors who appeared at the theatre in its early days included Ellen Terry and Sarah Bernhardt. It suffered, however, from being outside the traditional London theatrical district of the West End, whilst being sufficiently close to that district (unlike other provincial theatres) to find itself in competition with it.

Switch to cinemaEdit

In 1916, films were shown at the theatre for the first time, as part of variety programmes mixing live and filmed performance.

In 1923, it became a cinema full-time, and capacity was reduced from 1,143 to 1,010 seats, but it retained, as it still does, its original theatre interior, consisting of stalls and two upper tiers (a dress circle and a gallery). However, the boxes at each side of the auditorium, next to the stage, were removed in 1931. The stage was blocked off, and the cinema screen is placed within the proscenium arch. The projection equipment was housed in the former dress circle bar.

In 1931, the cinema became part of Gaumont British, and it was at this time that the theatre boxes were removed. In 1950, it was renamed the Gaumont and the upper tier was closed for seating, and capacity was therefore reduced to 196 in the dress circle and 319 in the stalls, a total of 515.

In 1972, the Rank Organisation (which had taken over Gaumont) proposed to demolish the building, but a local campaign based upon its architectural merit and its interesting history secured its survival and, indeed, refurbishment. In 1977 it was sold by Rank to an independent cinema operator, and its name reverted to the Coronet. The new owners replaced the seating in the stalls so as to provide more legroom, reducing total cinema capacity to 399 seats.

In 1989, the building was again under threat, but it was protected by a Grade II listing[8] and the threat passed. In 1996, a second screen with seating for 151 was opened in the stage area.

In 2004, the Coronet was acquired by the Kensington Temple, a large local Pentecostal church congregation. However, it continued to offer mainstream independent cinema programming, without any censorship or Christian slant. It was, for example, the cinema at which David Cameron was reported in the press to have watched Brokeback Mountain on its opening night.

In June 2014, it was announced that the Coronet had been acquired by nearby fringe theatre The Print Room, which planned to make it its new home.[9]

Print Room original premisesEdit

The theatre began in a converted 1950s warehouse which had served as a graphic design workshop in Westbourne Grove. The venue had two spaces: an 80-seater studio, which was used for its larger productions, and a 40-seater space for smaller theatre pieces, play readings and art exhibitions.[citation needed]

Print Room moves to new premisesEdit

In July 2014, it was announced that The Print Room was taking over the Coronet Cinema in Notting Hill Gate as its new home.[9] In May 2019, Print Room at the Coronet re-branded the company to the original 1898 name The Coronet Theatre.[citation needed]

ProductionsEdit

Awards & nominationsEdit

  • Peter Brook Empty Space Award Nominee 2011[15]
  • Off West End Award for Best Set Designer 2012, for Kingdom of Earth, won by Ruth Sutcliffe[16]
  • Off West End Award for Best Sound Designer 2012, for Snake in The Grass, won by Neil Alexander[16]
  • Off West End Award for Best Production 2013, for Uncle Vanya[17]

In popular cultureEdit

The Coronet featured in the 1999 film Notting Hill, as the cinema where a sad Will Thacker (Hugh Grant) watches a film with his big love Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) after they have separated. Also, it is the home of the character Matt Hatter in the animated series Matt Hatter Chronicles.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ The Print Room: About us Archived 2013-07-01 at the Wayback Machine Relinked 2014-06-24
  2. ^ OffWestEnd.com: The Print Room Relinked 2014-06-24
  3. ^ BBC News, 9 February 2011: How to run a theatre without arts funding Linked 2014-06-24
  4. ^ "Home". The Coronet Theatre.
  5. ^ http://www.the-print-room.org/restoration-news/
  6. ^ What's On Stage, 4 December 2012: Anda Winters announces new season at Print Room Relinked 2014-06-24
  7. ^ Denny, p74
  8. ^ Historic England. "Details from listed building database (1227644)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  9. ^ a b BBC News, 23 June 2014: Notting Hill's Coronet cinema to become theatre Linked 24 June 2014
  10. ^ A Younger Theatre: Review: The Last Yankee Linked 2014-06-24
  11. ^ Vale, Paul. "The Cocktail Party review at the Print Room, London – 'stylish and intelligent'".
  12. ^ Ellerby, Rebekah (20 October 2015). "Review: UBU and the Truth Commission, Print Room".
  13. ^ "Trois Ruptures/Three Splits, The Print Room". Culture Whisper.
  14. ^ Haydon, Ronnie. "The Table of Delights review at Print Room, London".
  15. ^ The Writers' Guild of Great Britain: Empty Space...Peter Brook Awards 2011 Archived 2014-01-16 at the Wayback Machine Relinked 2014-06-24
  16. ^ a b OffWestEnd.com: 2012 Offie winners announced Relinked 2014-06-24
  17. ^ OffWestEnd.com: Photos of the Offies 2013 winners Linked 2014-06-24

BibliographEdit

  • Barbara Denny, Notting Hill and Holland Park Past, Historical Publications, 1993, ISBN 978-0-948667-18-3

External linksEdit