THE COLISEUM THEATRE (ENGLISH NATIONAL OPERA)

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II*
List Entry Number:
1236022
Date first listed:
20-Sep-1960
Date of most recent amendment:
05-Nov-1990
Statutory Address:
THE COLISEUM THEATRE (ENGLISH NATIONAL OPERA), 32-36, ST MARTIN'S LANE WC2

Map

Ordnance survey map of THE COLISEUM THEATRE (ENGLISH NATIONAL OPERA)
© Crown Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2020. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1236022.pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 18-Jan-2020 at 14:35:33.

Location

Statutory Address:
THE COLISEUM THEATRE (ENGLISH NATIONAL OPERA), 32-36, ST MARTIN'S LANE WC2

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:
Greater London Authority
District:
City of Westminster (London Borough)
National Grid Reference:
TQ 30131 80671

Details

In the entry for:- TQ 3080 NW ST MARTIN'S LANE, WC2 72/109 Nos 32 to 35 (consecutive) The Coliseum Theatre 20.9.60 (English National Opera) II* The address and description shall be amended to read: ST MARTIN'S LANE, WC2 Nos 32 to 36 (consec) The Coliseum Theatre (English National Opera) Grand theatre. 1902-04 by Frank Matcham, originally built for (Sir) Oswald Stoll. No 36 now a shop with offices over. Channelled terracotta facing, painted over, slate roofs. Exuberant Free Baroque ambitious design, the Edwardian "Theatre de Luxe of London" with richly decorated interiors and a vast and grandiose auditorium. 3 main storeys. Asymmetrical facade with a lofty tower to the right and a shorter pavilion-tower to left, and a further south wing with shop. Triple arcaded entrances approximately in centre with polished red granite columns and voussoirs and finely executed decorative woodwork to doors and frames; 2 storeyed voussoired archivolt arched entrance at foot of main tower adjoining to right. Elaborately architraved windows to 1st floor; Ionic colonnaded shallow loggia storey above the massively bracketed balconies and 3 pedimented aedicules, 2 to left and one to right of tower. Entablature and crowning balustrade. The left pavilion-tower has a 2 storey arch framing shop front above which quoin pilasters with richly embellished caps flank 2-storey bow; tiled dome with lantern, behind parapet. The main tower has balconied Venetian window at loggia level and rises first to elaborate cornice enriched with cartouches, then as Ionic peristyle with figure sculpture at corners supporting advanced coupled columns, entablature and balustrade surmounted by pedestalled ball finials to corners, drum with oculi and stepped dome surmounted by (formerly revolving) large metal and glass globe. Lavish foyer and circulation areas with marble facings, culminating in vast 3-tier auditorium with wealth of eclectic classical detail of Byzantine opulence, some motifs such as the squat columns dividing the lowest tier of slip boxes, backing the stalls, almost Sullivanesque; pairs of 2-tiered bow fronted boxes with domed canopies at gallery level and semi-domed, Ionic-columned pairs of 2 tiered orchestra boxes, contained in arched and pedimented frames surmounted by sculptural groups with lion-drawn chariots. Great, semi-circular, blocked architrave proscenium arch with cartouche- trophy keystone. Auditorium walls articulated in elaborated bays by decorated piers finished off as coupled pilasters and columns below classical relief frieze; massive coupled brackets carry beams of decorated ceiling with large ribbed dome, etc. When built the Coliseum was London's largest theatre with the latest machinery including triple-revolve (disused) and a counterweight system and cyclorama track, still in use, as well as being uniquely equipped with lifts to upper floors. The Coliseum is one of Matcham's finest achievements and very little altered apart from the painting of the exterior. The Theatres of London; Mander and Mitchenson.

------------------------------------

TQ 3080 NW CITY OF WESTMINSTER ST. MARTIN'S LANE, WC2 72/109 Nos. 32 to 35(consec: ) 20.9.60 The Coliseum Theatre (English National Opera) - II* Grand theatre. 1902-04 by Frank Matcham , originally built for (Sir) Oswald Stoll. Channelled terracotta facing, painted over, slate roofs. Exuberant Free Baroque ambitious design, the Edwardian "Theatre de Luxe of London" with richly decorated interiors and a vast and grandiose auditorium. 3 main storeys. Asymmetrical facade with a lofty tower to the right and a shorter pavilion-tower to left, and a further south wing with shop. Triple arcaded entrances approximately in centre with polished red granite columns and voussoirs and finely executed decorative woodwork to doors and frames; 2 storeyed voussoired archivolt arched entrance at foot of main tower adjoining to right. Elaborately architraved windows to 1st floor; Ionic colonnaded shallow loggia storey above with massively bracketed balconies and 3 pedimented aedicules, 2 to left and one to right of tower. Entablature and crowning balustrade. The left pavilion-tower has a 2 storey arch framing shop front above which quoin pilasters with richly embellished caps flank 2-storey bow; tiled dome with lantern, behind parapet. The main tower has balconied Venetian window at loggia level and rises first to elaborate cornice enriched with cartouches, then as Ionic peristyle with figure sculpture at corners supporting advanced coupled columns, entablature and balustrade surmounted by pedestalled ball finials to corners, drum with oculi and stepped dome surmounted by (formerly revolving) large metal and glass globe. Lavish foyer and circulation areas with marble facings, culminating in vast 3-tier auditorium with wealth of eclectic classical detail of Byzantine opulence, some motifs such as the squat columns dividing the lowest tier of slip boxes, backing the stalls, almost Sullivanesque; pairs of 2-tiered bow fronted boxes with domed canopies at gallery level and semi-domed, Ionic-columned pairs of 2 tiered orchestra boxes, contained in arched and pedimented frames surmounted by sculptural groups with lion-drawn chariots. Great, semicircular, blocked architrave proscenium arch with cartouche-trophy keystone. Auditorium walls articulated in elaborated bays by decorated piers finished off as coupled pilasters and columns below classical relief frieze; massive coupled brackets carry beams of decorated ceiling with large ribbed dome, etc. When built the Coliseum was London's largest theatre with the latest machinery including triple-revolve (disused) and a counterweight system and cyclorama track, still in use, as well as being uniquely equipped with lifts to upper floors. The Coliseum is one of Matcham's finest achievements and very little altered apart from the painting of the exterior. The Theatres of London; Mander and Mitchenson.

Listing NGR: TQ3012680662

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
426935
Legacy System:
LBS

Sources

Books and journals
Mander, , Mitchenson, , The Theatres of London, (1975)

Legal

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 02 Mar 2004
Reference: IOE01/11752/24
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Anthony Rau. Source Historic England Archive
Archive image, may not represent current condition of site.
To view this image please use Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Edge.

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].