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The Broadway, Wimbledon, SW19 1QG
The New Wimbledon Theatre is a stunning Grade II Listed Edwardian theatre built by the theatre lover and entrepreneur, J B Mullholland. Built on the site of a large house with spacious grounds the theatre was designed by Cecil Massey and Roy Young, possibly following a 1908 design by Frank H Jones. The theatre opened its doors on Boxing Day 1910 with the pantomime Jack and Jill. For the residents of Wimbledon and the surrounding area it was a glittering social occasion, the first of many throughout the Theatre's history. It was reviewed favourably by the Times and the critic added: "For beauty and size Wimbledon Theatre would not disgrace Shaftesbury Avenue".
The theatre's heyday was during the inter-war period when it was highly successful, with big shows and popular entertainers playing to packed houses. Names as famous and diverse as Gracie Fields and Sybil Thorndike, Ivor Novello, Markova and Nöel Coward played there and by the time of his death in 1925, Mullholland had established Wimbledon as one of the best touring dates in the country.
Recently saved from redevelopment the theatre has been extensively refurbished and retains many of its original features particularly its elaborate interiors with Baroque and Adamesque features including decorative plasterwork and wrought iron balustrades to the galleries.
More recently, the venue was taken over by the Ambassador Theatre Group, the second largest theatre group both in the West End and in the regions and has been relaunched as the New Wimbledon Theatre.
The New Wimbledon Theatre is one of the very few surviving and refurbished theatres of architectural merit on the very edge of London.
Cecil Massey and Roy Young, 1910
Urban Design and Conservation
London Borough of Merton
Merton Civic Centre
Telephone: 020 8545 3837
Fax: 020 8545 3326
This page was last updated on Friday 27 January 2012