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Originally conceived as an art deco ‘super-cinema’ in 1930, the Apollo Victoria Theatre is one of the largest venues in the West End, holding up to 2,313 audience members per performance.
It was built with stage facilities that were used for Big Band nights and one-off stage acts later branching out into ballet and live shows alongside film screenings. The theatre was also used as a cinema until 1975; it was called the New Victoria Cinema.
When the cinema closed in 1975, the Apollo Victoria lay dormant for six years before a grand reopening as a concert and theatre venue. After a handful of musical productions, it became the long-time home to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s roller-skating extravaganza Starlight Express. For the lavish production, the theatre underwent serious refurbishments: the walls were painted entirely black and more than 1,000 seats were taken out to make way for a multi-storey giant roller-skating rink.
After a couple of short runs from Saturday Night Fever and Movin’ Out, the Apollo Victoria became the London home of Wicked, an imaginative biography of the witches from The Wizard of Oz.