SAVE Britain’s Heritage announces Streatham Hill Theatre on its Buildings at Risk list as new video released

On 29th June, Streatham Hill Theatre was announced as being added to the SAVE Britain’s Heritage Buildings at Risk Register 2022.
The theatre campaign has gained two new Patrons – David Harewood and Jools Holland
, as well as a new 15 minute video (which you can watch below) about the campaign and the work being done to save this sleeping beauty from the wreckers’ ball.

David Harewood MBE and Jools Holland OBE DL have become Patrons of The Friends of Streatham Hill Theatre campaign to find a sustainable solution to the future of the building, and promote its return to use as an arts and culture venue for the community. Harewood and Holland join the other distinguished Patrons of the campaign who include Baroness Floella Benjamin, DBE, DL, Samira Ahmed, and Sir Mark Rylance.

Also, broadcast journalism students at the University of Westminster have published online a student documentary featuring Sherwood star, and campaign Patron, Robert Glenister, and others, covering the history of the Theatre, its importance, and the campaign to save it. You can watch this by clicking the image above.

Responding to these announcements, David Harvey, Chair, The Friends of Streatham Hill Theatre said “These developments demonstrate yet more recognition for the majestic Streatham Hill Theatre, its historic importance, and the breadth and depth of support in the community for the building to be rejuvenated for a future in arts and culture.”

Jools Holland said: “The prospect of bringing back to life a theatre in South London, with a stage the equivalent size of the Palladium, is very exciting. My friend the late Chris Barber and his jazz band played there in the fifties, and it would be so wonderful to see the Streatham Hill Theatre filled with all kinds of music once again. I’m delighted to add my support to this important campaign to save it.”

David Harewood said: “Theatre and the Creative Arts are so important for people’s well-being, which is just one of the reasons I’m fully behind the Friends’ campaign to bring this very special building back to life as a beating heart for our wonderful Streatham community and beyond.”

Henrietta Billings, Director, SAVE Britain’s Heritage, said: “With dazzlingly opulent interiors, this exceptional 1920s theatre is an important part of London’s rich cultural history. Remarkably little altered since it opened, it is well-suited to being brought back into use as a performance venue. SAVE Britain’s Heritage is today adding it to our Buildings at Risk Register as the theatre has lain largely disused for some time and is highly vulnerable to redevelopment. Fortunately, The Friends of Streatham Hill Theatre have a vision to bring the theatre back into use for the community. SAVE wholeheartedly supports their initiative.”

Dudley Hippodrome – new video captures past glories and future potential of the celebrated at-risk venue

Susan Lowe of the Friends of Dudley Hippodrome and the Dudley Hippodrome Development Trust has made a charming and effective new video about the star-studded history of the Dudley Hippodrome, the much-loved last-remaining professional theatre in the Dudley area, which the Council are eager to destroy.

Take a look, imagine the potential to the local economy and community and please join the Facebook friends group to support retention of this much-needed local piece of civic pride and heritage. Find the group here

Greetings from the stars on the opening of Dudley Hippodrome in 1938, a page from the Opening Souvenir brochure. Signed by stars from Gracie Fields to impresario/bandleader Jack Hylton and many others.

Culturally and historically-significant Jewel Theatre could be the jewel in Oklahoma City district’s regeneration

Historic Jewel Theatre as seen in recent video

Occasionally I like to bring you things that you may not have come across in your reading about the arts and culture.

This is the Jewel Theatre, built in July 1931 for Hathyel L. James and Percy H. James as an African American Theatre, with Art Deco stylings, in the Black business district of Oklahoma City, once the hub of a thriving Main Street.

Today, all the other surrounding buildings have gone. Except the Jewel. With vacant ground all around, the Jewel could easily have gone the way of the others. Closed by the late-1970’s, the Jewel was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009. Thankfully, current owner Arthur Hurst (who grew up in the neighbourhood) is partnering with local initiatives, creating the Jewel Foundation, in an attempt to raise funding of around $2million to completely renovate the structurally-sound but otherwise fading Jewel. All its interior decoration has gone, leaving a bare shell.

As a very rare survivor of a Black cultural heritage building, there is much passion behind the revival project, and the aim is for the Jewel to become a catalyst to reignite local business development, and when open to celebrate black filmmakers and talent by screening movies and staging shows.

As a culturally-significant survivor I am sure we all wish them well. Those wishing to help the project financially may have to hold off – I have investigated the links attached to advertising material and sadly none of them are live or current. I will let you know when I find a way for you to donate should you wish to.

Meanwhile, I’d strongly recommend that you enjoy this short video about the Jewel, its history and aspirations.

You can find the video here

And read more about the project here

Jewel Theatre and other buildings circa 1939