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


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Statutory Address:

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

Greater London Authority
Camden (London Borough)
National Grid Reference:
TQ 29980 81145



TQ2981SE SHAFTESBURY AVENUE 798-1/104/1899 Former Saville Theatre 01/07/98


Former theatre, now cinema. Designed 1929-30, built 1930-1 by TP Bennett and Son for AE Fournier, theatrical impressario. Steel frame clad in red-brown brick with artificial stone plinth and sculpted frieze to front, and parapet round the building. Rectangular building, originally comprising a theatre on 3 levels, but converted in 1970 into 2 cinemas set one above the other and with large foyer and staircase. EXTERIOR: the elevation is particularly handsome. Rusticated stone plinth with band supports frieze by Gilbert Bayes depicting Drama through the Ages. Moulded band over, above which a blind facade of rusticated brickwork interrupted only by 5 pairs of roundel plaques, and a giant arch over the entrance, framed by simple stone banding with a flat keystone. The arch originally with bronze metal glazing, since 1970 tiled over. Simpler brickwork to side elevations and rear. INTERIOR: remodelled in 1970 and nothing of the 1930-1 work remains on view. The Saville Theatre is remarkable as a fine composition that incorporates architecture and sculpture with rare intelligence, and which fulfills Bayes' vision of a unity between the two arts. Bayes' frieze is one of the largest and most important works of public sculpture of its age, and won him the silver medal of the Institute of Sculptors for the best piece of applied sculpture of its year. It is 129 feet long and made from artificial stone. It consists of a frieze of dramatic players and dancers set between a broad curtain which is folded round the side of the building. It depicts from left to right: St Joan; the Chester players; St George; a Roman triumphal procession; Bacchanalian dancers; a Harlequinade in Comedia dell'arte costume; Shakespearean figures; figures from contemporary drama and (round the corner) a figure in Boer War uniform. The plaques above depict art of Egypt; Assyria; the Italian Renaissance; Medieval (initialled); Pompadour; Victorian period (signed); Elizabethan and Georgian.

Listing NGR: TQ2998081145


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

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Date: 24 Oct 2004
Reference: IOE01/13024/17
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Brian Jackson. Source Historic England Archive
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