Feb 13, 2015

The Luxurious and Highly Popular London Coliseum

The London Coliseum is arguably the most noted and visited theatre in the English capital. The theatre is also known as the Coliseum Theatre and is described by numerous theatrical critics as one of London’s largest and most luxurious “variety theatres. The theatre is situated in the central parts of the city, in St. Martin’s Lane in the district of Covent Garden. Nearby, the St Martin’s Lane Hotel offers luxurious accommodations for theatre-goers, enhancing the area’s appeal as a cultural hotspot.


Frank Matcham, a prolific theatre architect whose work includes several other major London theatres, was responsible for the design of the London Coliseum. The theatre was opened on December, 24th in 1904 as the London Coliseum Theatre of Varieties. Frank Matcham (the architect that designed the London Palladium) was responsible for the design of the London Coliseum. The theatre was commissioned by impresario Oswald Stoll, whose ambition was to build the largest and more refined music hall in London. Indeed, at its opening, the London Coliseum boasted the largest theatre in London, a title it held proudly, embodying the grandeur of British theatre.

When the theatre opened doors as the London Coliseum opened, it was celebrated for introducing electric lighting, which was a significant advancement in theatrical technology at the time. It was the first theatre in England to have a stage with a triple revolve and was the first theatre in Europe that provided lifts to its patrons that would take them to the upper levels of the theatre. At the time the theatre stages variety shows, stage plays, musical comedies, and live musical performances. The large orchestra pit installed was capable of accommodating an extensive range of musical performances, from operas to major American hits beginning their UK tours.

Conversion to a cinema in the 60s

During the early 1960s, the London Coliseum was converted into a cinema which projected films in the Cinerama format. The theatre served the purpose of a cinema until 1968 when the Sadler’s Wells Opera Company moved into the building. This transition marked the theatre’s return to its roots as a premier venue for live performance, particularly opera, with the Opera Don Giovanni being among the notable productions staged. In 1974 Sadler’s Wells Company changed the theatres name to the English National Opera. Today the London Coliseum stages primarily operas and is the London home of the English National Ballet.

Major Reconstruction from 2002 to 2004

From 2000 to 2004 the London Coliseum was the subject of a major construction and refurbishment project which restored the former glamour of the building. This project included the restoration of the vast and grandiose auditorium, the richly furnished lounge, and the terrace tea room, offering patrons a unique experience beyond the performances. Today the building that houses the theatre is listed as a Grade II edifice and is considered by many Londoners and architectural experts to be one of the most beautiful buildings in the English capital.

London Coliseum – capacity

The current capacity of the London Coliseum is precisely 2,558 seats, which are spread over three tiers that comprise a total of four levels, making it not only a beacon of the London theatre scene but also a monument to the architectural and cultural heritage of the city.

The dress circle offers unparalleled views of the stage, while the upper circle provides a more affordable option without sacrificing the experience of the performance. The theater’s box office, located prominently at the entrance, is a bustling hub of activity where patrons can purchase tickets to a variety of shows.

The London Coliseum is a most visit site in the English capital, so make sure that you visit it during your visitation to London. It has been dubbed the ‘People’s Palace of Entertainment’, a title reflective of its mission to provide top-tier entertainment accessible to a wide audience. On the other hand if you are a London resident then you should most certainly attend at some of the plays that the theaters stages throughout the year.

With its seating capacity and status as the largest theatre, the London Coliseum has hosted numerous royal guests since its opening, including Edward VII’s first visit, which solidified its position within the upper echelons of London’s social scene. The theatre’s original slogan, “The Largest and Finest People’s Palace of Entertainment,” echoes through its corridors, reminding guests of its storied past and commitment to excellence.

Alternatively if you have recently moved to the English capital via man and van services, take your time to settle in before you go to the theatre. This landmark, located a short walk from Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square, has played a significant role in the theatrical history of London, hosting performances by stars like Michael Ball and premiering numerous operatic and musical productions. It is for the best that you use man and van services for your relocation, as by doing so you will not only facilitate the entre process but you will also automatically lower the stress and irritation levels that will be present during the execution of your relocation.

Once you have unpacked, arrange your belonging into your new home and settle in, make sure that you book several ticket for any of the plays that the theatre is staging. We guarantee you that you will have an amazing time which you will remember for a very, very long time.

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  • Jeremy Oliver

    Previously serving as a logistics coordinator, Jeremy's comprehensive understanding of the industry gives him the ability to translate complex procedures into easy-to-understand blog posts. He has a particular knack for tackling the intricacies of London's removals scene, from the congested roadways to the unique challenges of navigating historic neighborhoods. As an authentic Londoner, Jeremy combines practical knowledge with his inherent love for the city, offering readers not only information on man with van removals but also local insights and valuable tips.