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 30104 81068



TQ3081SW EARLHAM STREET 798-1/105/355 (South side) Cambridge Theatre


Theatre on a corner site facing Seven Dials with returns to Mercer Street and Shelton Street. 1929-30. By Wimperis, Simpson and Guthrie; interior partly by Serge Chermayeff, friezes by Anthony Gibbons Grinling. Portland stone to front, brick to rear. EXTERIOR: 5 storeys. Entrance on chamfered corner with 3 main round-arched doorways under a projecting plain canopy; further openings, round-arched to Earlham Street and flat arched to Mercer Street. Upper floors on corner have plain metal framed windows to each face, the 4th floor forming a balcony of distyle-in-antis piers with a similar window to the rear and rising above the cornice. Returns have similar windows but at 1st floor alternate windows have cornices; Mercer Street with pilaster architraved round-arched window and lugged stone balcony. Brick portion has mostly small metal-framed windows and a large entrance for scenery. INTERIOR: retains original features including lighting sequence. Circular entrance foyer with bronze frieze depicting nudes in exercise poses. Main foyer has similar panels of dancing nudes, walls partly of fictive marble with uplighters on pilasters, a multi-layer ceiling, with diamond patterned edges, for concealed lighting; chandeliers; stair has chrome handrails. Bar in similar style. Corridor has barrel-vaulted corrugated ceiling uplit from coved cornice; main doors brass clad with etched moderne design of zig-zag pattern threaded with undulations, small paned windows and plain double strip pushers. Auditorium fan-shaped sweeping up unbroken to the elliptical form of the ceiling which is arranged in broad concentric bands for lighting. 2-tier balcony with moderne triangular patterned balustrade which continues at 1st tier level to front 2 bow-fronted boxes; to right of stage with panel of schematic sun and buildings, to left, sun and waves. Uplighters, 2 with crystal fountain effect chandeliers. Tall fictive marble dado to stalls; moulded proscenium. HISTORICAL NOTE: the Cambridge Theatre is a rare, complete and early example of a London theatre adopting the moderne, expressionist style pioneered in Germany during the 1920s. It marked a conscious reaction to the design excesses of the music hall and contemporary cinemas. Theatres looked for a new style appropriate to the greater sophistication of their

entertainment and found it in the Germanic moderne forms of simple shapes enlivened by concealed lighting, shiny steelwork and touches of bright colour; this was not taken up by cinema designers until 1935. At the time of designing Chermayeff was an interior designer with Waring & Gillow; the original colour scheme was dusky pink contrasted with pale blue and silver.

Listing NGR: TQ3010881062


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

Legacy System number:
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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: 22 Aug 2004
Reference: IOE01/13022/29
Rights: Copyright IoE Miss Sylvia Gauthereau. Source Historic England Archive
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