By Mark Shenton
24 Jun 2014
It will occupy the Coronet in Notting Hill, which has most recently served duty as a two-screen cinema. Under the Print Room's plans, the building will become the company's new theatre space and administration offices. The increased size of the venue will enable the company to further develop aspects of the building over time, while remaining fully operational. The move also ensures the building’s preservation for public use.
The company have engaged architects Studio Indigo to oversee the renovation work, which will take place in stages, enabling the company to take up residence this fall and launch their inaugural season in the smaller cinema space, which will be converted into a 100-seat theatre. The larger space will continue to operate as a cinema under the direction of The Print Room artistic team.
The venue will eventually include three flexible theatre spaces - the largest of which will remain fully operational as a cinema with both 35mm and digital facilities; rehearsal and workshop spaces; administration offices and a restaurant and bar.
In a press statement, artistic director Anda Winters has commented, "We are thrilled to be moving to such a glorious new home in Notting Hill. The Print Room began its journey five years ago in a derelict printing workshop on Hereford Road, and we have now found a permanent home on our doorstep. It's a truly grand space where we can keep delivering our eclectic programme of world-class drama, innovative dance, diverse music, poetry, exhibitions and other performing arts, with the addition of world-class cinema."
She continues, "Our involvement with the local community, through our free and discounted ticket offers and education programme, will increase along with the development of the new space. The possibilities for The Coronet are extraordinary, and we will bring to it the same nurturing spirit we developed in our first life in Hereford Road. This move will secure the company’s long-term future in the heart of Notting Hill."
The landlords of their current home in Hereford Road have declared an intention to demolish the current building in order to create luxury accommodation. The move to The Coronet fulfils the long-term plans of the company to secure a permanent future.
The Coronet first opened as a theatre in 1898 with a capacity of 1,143 seats. It was designed by one of the leading architects of the time, W.G.R. Sprague, at a cost of £25,000. His other work included Wyndham's, the Aldwych Theatre and the Noel Coward Theatre. It quickly gained a reputation as one of the finest theatres outside the West End, with appearances from actors including Ellen Terry and Sarah Bernhardt, and was frequented by King Edward VII. John Gielgud saw his first Shakespeare production at the theatre, As You Like It, in 1912.
For further information on the Print Room, visit the-print-room.org