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© Mr Anthony Rau

IoE Number: 433546
Location: THE FORTUNE THEATRE, RUSSELL STREET (north side)
  WESTMINSTER, CITY OF WESTMINSTER, GREATER LONDON
Photographer: Mr Anthony Rau
Date Photographed: 02 May 2006
Date listed: 23 May 1994
Date of last amendment: 23 May 1994
Grade II

The Images of England website consists of images of listed buildings based on the statutory list as it was in 2001 and does not incorporate subsequent amendments to the list. For the statutory list and information on the current listed status of individual buildings please go to The National Heritage List for England.

TQ 3081 SWRUSSELL, STREET(north-west side)1900-/59/10035The Fortune TheatreGVII

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

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