LONDON (CelebrityAccess) — Alexandra Palace, a stately Victorian-era theater in the North London, is preparing to re-open after a 3-year, multi-million dollar restoration.
The theater, which first opened in in 1875, originally provided a stage for theatrical productions in front of audiences of up to 3,000 people, but has not hosted a regular performance in more than 80 years but has served duty as everything from a movie cinema to a workshop.
Now, after a $36 million restoration, funded in part by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Haringey Council, the venue is on track to re-open in December for a performance by the BBC Concert Orchestra who will perform Gilbert and Sullivan’s one-act operetta Trial by Jury which premiered in 1875, the same year the theatre opened.
The work saw the theatre’s floor being flattened, with a new subfloor replacing the crumbling Victorian dwarf walls, while each of the floorboards has been individually lifted and renumbered and will be re-laid. The theater’s decorative ceiling and its roof have also been restored and upgraded, with new steel support trusses that provide architectural integrity while helping the theater to retain its character.
When it re-opens, the theater will be able to accommodate audiences of up to 1,300, but will also be scalable to host more intimate performances as well
“The public have waited so long to see this spectacular place, set high on the hill above North London, brought back to its original splendour and glory. It’s unbelievably exciting to know that by next year we will have made such a big step forward,” Louise Stewart, Chief Executive of Alexandra Park & Palace Charitable Trust said.
“The Palace has always been bold and even radical in its activities. In 1898 it hosted a replica of the Pyramids of Cairo and a recreation of the last days of Pompeii in the form of a firework spectacular. It was intended as a place where people could relax away from the rush of the city and still enjoy world-class culture and entertainment,” Stewart added.