Opened as the New Victoria Cinema in 1930, the Apollo Victoria is a venue brimming with art deco design. In the era of 'super' cinemas, Provincial Cinematograph Theatres (PCT) invited Ernest Walmsley Lewis to submit plans to build such a cinema a stone’s throw away from Victoria Station. It was one of Britain’s first cinemas to be listed for its architectural significance and is now a Grade II* listed building.
Designing the venue was challenging, especially due to having two major roads running either side of it. Having two frontages was considered very severe; taxi drivers were said to have nicknamed the venue 'Sing-Sing'. The interior is unique and a testament to art deco design. 'Imagine a fairy cavern under the sea, or a mermaid’s dream of Heaven; something one has never seen or thought of before; huge submarine flowers against the walls that branch up and out and throw mysterious light towards the realms above, and glassy illuminated stalactites hanging from the ceiling; and a proscenium like a slender host of silver trees, and silvered organ pipes that shoot up to the roof; while over the whole the lights change from deep-sea green to the colours of the dawn, and from these to the warm comfort sunlight'. Gaumont - British News
In 2016, the auditorium and Front of House areas underwent a complete refurbishment. All seats and carpets were replaced, with new seat stanchions formed in cast iron, replicated from the original design. Throughout the theatre, care has been taken to restore the unique features, with restorative touches returning the auditorium to its original green colour scheme, and original mermaid statues re-lit and restored to retain their striking presence.
The venue has become one of the leading West End venues, hosting musicals such as The Sound of Music, Camelot, Fiddler on the Roof, Starlight Express and Saturday Night Fever. WICKED has been casting its spell over audiences across the world for the last 16 years and continues to be a 'West End sensation' (Daily Mail) at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, where it is currently in its 15th magical year.
The Apollo Victoria Theatre is owned and operated by The Ambassador Theatre Group