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© Mr Anthony Rau

IoE Number: 426935
Location: THE COLISEUM THEATRE (ENGLISH NATIONAL OPERA), 32-36 ST MARTIN'S LANE WC2
  WESTMINSTER, CITY OF WESTMINSTER, GREATER LONDON
Photographer: Mr Anthony Rau
Date Photographed: 02 March 2004
Date listed: 20 September 1960
Date of last amendment: 05 November 1990
Grade II*

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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.

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