Eventim Apollo Hammersmith

45 Queen Caroline Street,
London, W6 9QH

Unfavorite 11 people favorited this theater

Related Websites

Hammersmith Apollo Theatre (Official)

Additional Info

Operated by: AEG Live

Previously operated by: Apollo Cinemas, Gaumont-British-Picture Corp., Ltd., Rank Organisation

Architects: Robert Cromie

Functions: Concerts, Live Performances, Live Theatre

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: Gaumont Palace, Gaumont, Odeon, London Apollo, Labatt's Apollo, Carling Apollo

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 440208.563.3800
Manager: 0870.606.3400

Nearby Theaters

News About This Theater

Eventim Apollo Hammersmith

Located in the west London inner-city suburb of Hammersmith. This is one of the UK’s largest and best-preserved super cinemas. Designed by architect Robert Cromie for a joint collaboration between exhibitor Israel Davis and the Gaumont British Theatres chain (in 1928 he designed the magnificent (sadly demolished) Davis Theatre, Croydon for Israel Davis which has its own page on Cinema Treasures). The Hammersmith building was originally planned to also be named Davis Theatre, but it opened as the Gaumont Palace on 28th March 1932 with 3,560-seats. The opening programme was Tom Walls in “A Night Like This” and Helen Twelvetrees in “Bad Company”. On the stage was “Our Easter Egg”-a ‘Grand Stage Spectacle’ with 80 performers. De Groot conducted the Gaumont Palace Symphony Orchestra. It was equipped with a large stage that is 35-foot deep, which has proved to be the buildings reason for survival. The proscenium is 64-foot wide and there are twenty dressing rooms. The Gaumont Palace is also equipped with a Compton 4Manual/15Ranks theatre organ which was opened by organist Leslie James. There was also a café/restaurant located on the balcony foyer area.

The enormous width (192-foot) of the site allowed Robert Cromie to provide an excellent fan shaped auditorium which for its size is remarkably intimate. The rear of the circle is 165-foot wide and the circle only overhangs the stalls by 10-12 rows providing excellent sightlines from all parts of the house.

The Art Deco style decoration in such a large auditorium is slightly underpowered but nevertheless this is an outstanding, nearly unaltered, example of cinema architecture and is Robert Cromie’s finest surviving cinema. The Gaumont Palace was renamed Gaumont in 1937.

It now seats 3,419 with standing room for 302 more. It is well used for concerts, opera, ballet and musicals. (“Riverdance” had a two-year run here).

In 1961 the Gaumont hosted a Top Rank Bingo Club on Sunday afternoons. The building was renamed Odeon on 25th November 1962 and continued as a Rank Release cinema and live concerts (including The Beatles played for 20 nights, twice nightly, in December/January 1965). The Odeon screened its last regular film as a full-time cinema on 8th August 1984, Roy Scheider in “Blue Thunder”. Live shows/concerts became the main programme content, with occasional films slotted in to fill empty dates, such as in 1988, when “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” and “Imagine” were a couple of examples. Taken over by the Apollo Leisure Group, it became the London Apollo in 1992. It is available for sponsorship and the name got the sponsor prefixing the Apollo (e.g. Labatt’s Apollo or Carling Apollo) in recent years. The auditorium received a substantial redecoration in August 1995.

By 2005 it was operated by Clear Channel, they were encouraged by Hammersmith & Fulham Council and the Cinema Theatre Association to reinstate the original Compton organ console which had been removed from the building and put into storage in Wales in the 1990’s. The organ chambers, which are located above the proscenium, were retained in the building and now with it’s console connected up again it is again playable. From June 2007, the theatre was operated by the MAMA Group. In December 2009, the theatre was equipped with 2K digital projectors and a collapsible screen. It was taken over by HMV, and in 2012 was taken over by the German/American company Stage C, who purchased the building for £32 million.

In June 2013 the theatre was closed to enable a complete 5 million Pounds renovation and restoration to the plans of architectural firm Foster Wilson, bringing the building back to its original 1932 condition. The work restored the original foyer floor mosaic panels, long covered by carpet. Black paint was removed from the glass of the Art Deco style windows so that light can once again flood the circle bar and foyer. The theatre’s interior was repainted in the original colour scheme of green, mauve and black. There are new bars, and seats in the stalls and seats in the circle have been raised and reupholstered to improve comfort and legroom. All seats in the stalls can be removed if required and when that is done it increases the capacity of the building to over 5,000. Two marble staircases on each side of the proscenium had been concealed beneath the extended stage for many years and have been uncovered. It re-opened on 7th September 2013 with a concert by Selena Gomez and is re-named Eventim Apollo as it is now owned by AEG Live and German ticket vending company CTS Eventim.

On 24th April 2017 the European Premiere of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2” was held in the theatre. On 8th February 2018 the European Premiere of “Black Panther” was held at the Eventim Apollo Hammersmith. On 16th July 2018 the World Premiere of “Mama Mia! Here We Go Again” was held at the theatre, with stars Cher, Meryl Streep & Pierce Brosnan attending in person. The theatre is used extensively for recording in front of a live audience TV shows “Live at the Apollo” which features stand-up comics and “Britain’s Got Talent”.

The Hammersmith Apollo was designated a Grade II Listed building by English Heritage on 26th March 1990. This was upgraded to a Grade II* Listed building status on 26th July 2004.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 35 comments)

mrchangeover on July 2, 2015 at 11:22 am

Many of the big old Gaumont theatres had projection rooms that were at the rear of a recessed oval in the ceiling. This mean that for many of them, the projectionists had to cross the roof of the building to get to the projection room. Sometimes the rake of the projectors was so steep the screen had to lean backwards, making it difficult for people in the front of the main floor to watch the movie. I find it difficult to believe that this is the best the architects could do when they had a 2500-3000 seat building to work with. A projection room over the rear of the balcony would have been a far better solution and would not have reduced the number of seats.

mrchangeover on July 2, 2015 at 5:12 pm

There is a 7 minute YouTube video of the Hammersmith Odeon projection room in 1987. It’s under “Odeon Hammersmith” but if you add “projection” it will be the first video listed.

Ron Knee
Ron Knee on December 21, 2015 at 5:14 am

I was a Manager here for 3 years from 1969 – 1971. It was very hard work to run this large building which had a capacity of 3500 and with two shows a night giving a total of 7000 through the doors took a great deal of organising. I still have great memories from those days. I was very pleased to write the report that saw this magnificent building up listed to Grade II* on the 27th July 2004.

boristhebassman on January 27, 2016 at 5:31 am

I’m always amazed how little thought was given to projector siting in otherwise magnificent buildings

SethLewis on January 27, 2016 at 5:54 am

Restaurants and bars around the corner tarted up too Looking forward to seeing Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer Feb 15th

Live within walking distance and happy that its listed!

CF100 on September 12, 2017 at 2:28 pm

Brintons Carpets case study with photos.

“A hand painted design created in the 1930’s was selected and served as inspiration for the final carpet design.”

Very, very nice!

CF100 on October 1, 2017 at 6:22 am

Brintons Carpets also have uploaded a video with shots of the Apollo and (advertorial) background information on the new carpet design.

DavidZornig on December 3, 2018 at 3:40 pm

The Beatles did several Christmas shows at the Odeon Hammersmith. Below is both video and still shots from 1964 & `65.




rivest266 on May 28, 2021 at 10:01 am

Grand opening ad posted.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.