The Apollo Victoria Theatre is one of the leading venues in London’s West End, boasting one of the most unique and stunning auditorium designs you could wish to see.
- Admire the unique art deco interior design of the auditorium as you await the show.
- Spot the original organ, played before films when the venue opened as a cinema in the 1930s.
- Enjoy the spectacular lighting, enhanced by over 80,000 LEDs to allow for the many changing colours.
What to See and Do
The centrepiece of any theatre and what a stunning one too. The Apollo Victoria Theatre originally opened as a cinema in the 1930’s and has retained much of its unique nautical themed art deco design. Described as an undersea fairy cavern, looking around the auditorium and taking in all the intricate detail of the design is a treat.
The theatre was given an overhaul in 1984 to allow for the staging of Starlight Express but was restored once more when the show ended its run 18 years later.
The Grand Foyer
When you enter the Apollo Victoria Theatre you come into an impressively large foyer area. The design is more functional here as this space can be used for receptions and meetings, holding up to 250 people. It is an ideal meeting area to enjoy a drink and a chat before the show, with the Foyer bar to be found running down the length of one side of the room.
The Elixir Bar
The Elixir bar is designed to build the atmosphere and anticipation for the show you are about to watch. You can relax here with friends and family, with the bar offering a range of drinks including speciality cocktails, beers and wines. The bar has its own sound system and the setting is designed to match the theatre’s resident production.
The Ambassador’s Lounge
An intimate space suitable for up to 15 people, this exclusive lounge can be hired before a show to make your West End experience extra special. Sit and relax pre-show or during the interval and have your drinks and snacks served directly to you. For added convenience you can leave your coats and bags in the lounge instead of taking them with you into the auditorium.
Did you know: (5 interesting facts!)
- The theatre was originally opened in 1930 as the New Victoria cinema and cost £250,000 to build, a hefty sum of money for that time. As well as films the cinema would also play host to variety shows.
- In 1939 when still a cinema it relayed the Epsom Derby as part of early experiments by the BBC in event cinema, something which we have come to experience more of only in quite recent years.
- In 2001 the theatre replaced its lighting system, installing 88,000 low powered LED bulbs. This was a first for a theatre auditorium, the old lighting system having consisted of incandescent lamps which had a high level of power consumption.
- The building is reported to have been built on an ancient ley line and is haunted, with staff and visitors reporting ghostly apparitions and strange goings-on in the theatre.
- The designers of the building faced the issue of the site being on two main London roads. In the end the theatre was designed with two entrances, one on Wilton Road and one on Vauxhall Bridge Road, each with their own impressive art deco facades.
- October 1930 – Opens as a cinema called the New Victoria
- June 1939 – Stages a live relay of the Epsom Derby
- 1976 – New Victoria cinema closes
- 1981 – Venue re-opens as the Apollo Victoria Theatre with a Shirley Bassey concert
- May 1982 – Hosts the first London revival of the Sound of Music
- 1984 – Theatre transformed to stage Starlight Express which runs for 18 years
- 2001 – First theatre auditorium to install complete low powered LED lighting
- September 2006 – Wicked opens at the Apollo Victoria Theatre
- May 2019 – New cast announced for Wicked as it enters its 13th year at the theatre
Facilities and Accessibility
The Apollo Victoria Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with four bays located at each end of row F in the circle. There are two platform lifts which can be used, while the Victoria Bridge road entrance is step-free. The theatre has toilets situated on every level with an accessible toilet in the foyer. A cloakroom is available for your coats, though you will not be permitted to leave large items of baggage.
The theatre is located opposite London Victoria train station and the closest public car park is a 15 minute walk away in Pimlico. There are also bus stops opposite the theatre. Parking for blue badge holders is limited in Victoria but there are bays further along Wilton Road and also in Grosvenor Gardens.
Guide dogs are allowed in the theatre and large print and Braille programmes can be ordered at the same time as you book your tickets. The theatre also uses a MobileConnect Wi-Fi sound amplification system for people requiring hearing assistance. Devices can be borrowed or an app downloaded on to your own device to use this system.