Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


Ordnance survey map of THE FORTUNE THEATRE
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Statutory Address:

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

Greater London Authority
City of Westminster (London Borough)
National Grid Reference:
TQ 30501 81046


TQ 3081 SW RUSSELL, STREET (north-west side) 1900-/59/10035 The Fortune Theatre


Theatre. 1922-4 by Ernest Schaufelberg for Laurence Cowen, impressario. Reinforced concrete on concrete frame, bush hammered and with panels of different aggregates, as is still exposed at ground-floor level. Brick facings to uppermost floor, brick stacks, complex pantiled roof over attic offices behind parapet, flat roof with lantern over stage. Auditorium for 400 people in stalls, circle, four boxes and balcony with foyers on each floor and reached via tiny vestibule; proscenium-arched stage with dressing rooms and offices extending over four floors on the street elevations. Asymmetrical elevation to Russell Street around central arched opening over entrance, topped with statue of 'Terpsichore' by M H Crichton. Regular glazing pattern of metal lozenge-pattern windows, those to attic floor between brick piers. Staircase tower to left over entrance to Church of Scotland (q.v., Crown Court), and canopy over ground floor. Double entrance doors with elaborate bronze glazing and marbled panels. Side elevation with metal windows in canted bays set between square metal lozenge-pattern openings and tall staircase towers; five pairs of double exit doors to ground floor between bush hammered panels.

The foyer is lined in grey and red marble, and has an elaborate ticket booth of beaten copper. Double doors with bronze panes, bronze plaques and uplighter on the stairs; copper handrail to stalls stairs. Stalls sunk below ground level, the upper levels reached through complex series of pass doors. Auditorium walls are simply panelled, with saw-tooth mouldings to balcony and box fronts, and as vertical ribs ending in complex set-backs between boxes and balconies. Handsome bronze rails to box and balcony fronts. Ceiling a series of interconnecting circles in moulded surround, and set back with square metal panels over upper balcony. Fitted bench seats at side of rear stalls an unusual feature. Included as the first theatre erected after the First World War in Britain, using new materials and in a new, Germanic style not generally adopted until the 1930s. Only Wembley stadium pre-dates it as a public building designed using concrete as an exposed and textured decorative facade; the concrete is set off by marble and fine metalwork in the interior.

Listing NGR: TQ3050281050


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


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 May 2006
Reference: IOE01/15476/10
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Anthony Rau. Source Historic England Archive
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