Dates: 1929 – present
Official website: http://www.dominiontheatre.com
(from An American in Paris website)
The historic Dominion Theatre sits majestically at the junction of Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Street and Charing Cross Road and first opened in 1929.
This landmark building, which was granted Grade II status by English Heritage in 1998, has recently completed a stunning £6 million restoration. All areas of the theatre were involved in the renovation, including the installation of a new flying system and the enlargement of the orchestra pit to facilitate large scale productions, and a full refurbishment of all five bars and ninety-five toilets front of house. Almost 1.2 acres of bespoke carpets were laid front of house and over 400 gallons of paint used in the reconditioning of the gold detailing and plasterwork of the proscenium arch, auditorium ceiling, foyers and hospitality suites. All of the theatre’s seats were reupholstered and additional French polished handrails added to aid accessibility inside the auditorium. The electrics and lighting fixtures also received an overhaul with the use of enough cable to stretch 4500 times the length of the Eiffel Tower.
During its illustrious history, the venue has operated successfully as both a theatre and cinema, including a record-breaking 4 years and 22-week continuous run of Joshua Logan’s film of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific, starring Mitzi Gaynor. Other blockbuster films have included Cleopatra, which starred Elizabeth Taylor; The Sound of Music (which ran from March 1965 to June 1968); the Gertrude Lawrence bio-pic Star!, with Julie Andrews; David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia and, in 1977, the UK premiere (simultaneously with the Leicester Square Theatre) of George Lucas’ Star Wars.
The Dominion Theatre has played host to countless legendary stars (including Judy Garland, Shirley MacLaine, Maurice Chevalier, Sophie Tucker, Jeanette Macdonald and David Bowie) and seven Royal Variety Performances. In 1931, Charlie Chaplin made a personal appearance at the UK premiere of City Lights (the classic silent film he directed, wrote and starred in).
Over the years, the theatre has also welcomed many prestigious companies, lavish stage productions and long-running shows including: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast; Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake; London Festival Ballet (now English National Ballet); Welsh National Opera and the Olivier Awards.
A large extension to the rear of house facilities was built to accommodate Disney’s Beauty and the Beast in 1996/7. It’s still in use today.
Selection of Past Productions
- An American In Paris (4 March 2017 – 6 January 2018)
- The Bodyguard (15 July 2016 – 7 January 2017)
- War of the Worlds (February 2016 – 30 April 2016)
- Elf (5 November 2015 – 2 January 2016)
- We Will Rock You (12 May 2002 – 31 May 2014)
- Notre Dame De Paris (May 2000 – ?)
- Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (31 May 1997 – 11 December 1999)
- Scrooge: The Musical (November 1996 – February 1997) featuring Anthony Newley
- Grease (15 July 1993 – 19 October 1996 and 22 October 2001 – 3 November 2001)
- Time (April 9th, 1986 – April 16th 1988)