Prince Edward Theatre

30 Old Compton Street,
London, W1D 4HS

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rivest266 on May 21, 2021 at 7:59 am

September 27th, 1954 grand opening ad as Casino Cinerama posted.

CF100 on July 24, 2018 at 3:16 pm

London Casino –

Photos of the auditorium in Cinerama guise and a (somewhat crudely drawn!) plan (with the three projector locations marked) can be seen, as well as a plan for the change to a single projector setup/replacement screen in 1974. Lists of three strip and single strip programming are also included.

Whatever the merits of Cinerama by today’s standards, the 1954 alterations look disastrous—aesthetically and yielding a technically substandard auditorium (in terms of acoustics, seating locations relative to the screen, etc.) Fascinating history, though…!

leslaw on October 15, 2015 at 5:14 am

I would say that the Cinerama screen was perfectly suited to this theatre. I saw virtually all of the Cinerama movies shown here and it was an incredible experience. Even the pseudo Cinerama films looked good on this screen. Just the redesigned MGM logo for 2001 is etched in my mind from seeing it at The Casino. I have seen the film many times since and it never looks as good as it did on that Cinerama screen.

Bill_Gibbs on May 25, 2013 at 11:39 am

The Cinerama screen didn’t look “at home” in this theatre! It somehow looked wider than the proscenium!

KitGreen on September 21, 2011 at 11:38 am

I saw Song Of Norway (70 mm Super-Cinerama)here in 1970. A very odd experience.

Ian on January 26, 2011 at 2:39 am

Some pre-renovation shots from 1991, I am not sure I would call it monstrous, but it is certainly vastly improved now!!

AdoraKiaOra on November 4, 2007 at 1:52 pm

Prior to this stunning renovation and rebuild it was a monstrous auditorium with little if any charm. Cameron has done an amzing job here and beteen Mary Poppins closing and Jersey Boys opens he is doing even more to make this an even better experience. He is doing tremendous work on all the West End houses he owns.

Ian on November 4, 2007 at 12:43 pm

A couple of recent interior shots here:–

View link

View link

Ian on August 11, 2007 at 11:46 am

A 1988 photo – when Chess was playing – here:–

View link

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 9, 2007 at 10:18 am

Ken, The Earl Carrol did show movies between shows in 1928-1930 including, ironically, premiering the film version of RIO RITA in 1929. It also may have showed films as the Casino in 1934.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 8, 2007 at 9:48 am

Unlike New York, the show “Rio Rita” starring Edith Day & Geoffrey Gwyther, was not a success in London and only ran for 59 performaces.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 23, 2006 at 3:08 am

A photograph I took of the Prince Edward Theatre in July 2005:

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 22, 2005 at 2:03 pm

The World Premier of “How the West Was Won” was held at the Casino Cinerama Theatre on 1st November 1962 and it went on to play at this theatre for a record breaking 123 weeks (longer than any other theatre in the world for this movie). It opened in 10 other cities around the world before having its first American date at the Warner Cinerama, Hollywood CA on 20th February 1963.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on March 15, 2005 at 8:33 am

Additional info on the London Casino Theatre’s affiliation with the two US theatres mentioned in my post dated Mar 12.

The French Casino in New York was originally the Earl Carroll Theatre located on the south-east corner of 7th Ave and 50th St. (now demolished and not listed here on Cinema Treasures as it never screened movies.

The French Casino, Miami Beach did show movies and is listed on Cinema Treasures as the Cinema Theatre /theaters/5716/

bruceanthony on March 12, 2005 at 8:47 pm

I saw two wonderful shows at this theatre before and after the renovation. I saw “Anything Goes” with Elaine Page before the renovation and saw “Crazy For You” after the renovation. They did a wonderful job on the renovation.brucec

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on March 12, 2005 at 1:31 pm

The numbers are the telephone number, 0207 is the dialing code for central London.

Some more facts on the Prince Edward Theatre;
It was one of 5 live theatres in London’s West End theatre district that opened in 1930, all in an Art Deco style. The others were the Cambridge Theatre, the Phoenix Theatre, the Whitehall Theatre and the Leicester Square Theatre. All are still with us and are in live theatre use except the Leicester Square Theatre which is now the Odeon West End Cinema and split up into several screens.

The Prince Edward Theatre was re-named the London Casino Theatre in 1936 which was a cabaret/restaurant theatre. The policy was to interchange shows with the French Casino in New York, NY and the Casino in Miami, FL, however things didn’t go so well as the French Casino went bankrupt. By 1940 the London Casino had closed, mainly due to the bombing blitz on London keeping audiences away.

It re-opened in July 1942 as the Queensbury All Services Club for servicemen (a similar operation to the Stage Door Canteen in the USA) and this lasted until the end of the war .

It re-opened as a live theatre, still known as the London Casino Theatre, in 1946 and remain in live theatre use until converted into a Casino Cinerama Theatre in 1954.

Ian on March 12, 2005 at 11:39 am

The theatre has recently undergone further upgrading prior to the opening of “Mary Poppins”. Additional toilets, enlarged bars and a unique outdoor extension to the Dress Circle bar over the theatre canopy overlooking Compton Street will be a boon in the Summer.

The building, so long unsuccessful, is now (arguably) Londons pre-eminent house for large scale musicals.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on January 19, 2005 at 1:21 pm

This link will take you to some great pictures of the theater’s Cinerama screen when it was known as the Casino. How wonderful “How the West Was Won” and “2001” must have looked on that screen: