£35m scheme for historic Hippodrome theatre in Brighton unveiled

The Argus: £35m scheme for historic Hippodrome theatre unveiled £35m scheme for historic Hippodrome theatre unveiled

New £35 million plans to bring a historic theatre back into use have been unveiled.

After 18 months in planning, Alaska Development Consultants has submitted designs to relaunch the Grade II* listed Brighton Hippodrome as a cinema.

Developers said work on the wide-ranging proposals, which also include remodelling the neighbouring shopping arcade of Dukes Lane, could start next summer.


MORE:


The plans are being made despite hundreds of people calling for the venue, which has hosted performances by The Beatles and the Rolling Stones, to be kept as a live performance theatre.

But developers said the plans – which they claim would create more than 200 jobs – are the “only viable and sustainable solution to safeguard the future of the building”.

Chris Moore, development manager for Alaska, said: “The plans have developed well through widespread collaboration and Alaska feels that the solution is one that all parties can be proud of.

“The design team, led by Russ Drage Architects, has worked tirelessly to create a proposal that satisfies the extensive requirements involved with a scheme centred on such a well-loved, listed property like the Hippodrome.

“The proposed development will not only safeguard the future of a fantastic old building for many generations to come, but also enhance the significant cultural and entertainment offerings of this vibrant city.”

Mr Moore said the eightscreen cinema would be created in the basement and ground floor, and would be leased to the cinema operator Vue.

Within the former theatre, there would be a removable floor inserted below the balcony.

The plans include restoring the main part of the auditorium for one of the cinema screens, with a restaurant above.

It comes despite campaigners presenting a case for the venue to be used as either a proscenium theatre, a theatrein- the-round or for circus performances, similar to the Roundhouse in London.

Among the supporters are former West End star Sheila Matthews and Royal Central School of Speech and Drama principal Gavin Henderson, who is also the former director and chief executive of Brighton Festival.

A petition launched in October received more than 1,000 signatures – just short of the 1,250 needed to trigger a debate at full council.

It will be presented to the council’s economic development and culture committee on January 23.

Comments are currently being accepted on the planning application with a decision likely to be taken in the coming months.

To comment, call 01273 292222 or email planning.applications@ brighton-hove.gov.uk.

Comments (24)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:37am Tue 14 Jan 14

BeeJam says...

WHAT is that? Surely a joke. I am not against redevelopment but that is just an eyesore.
WHAT is that? Surely a joke. I am not against redevelopment but that is just an eyesore. BeeJam

9:58am Tue 14 Jan 14

Morpheus says...

Looks like a demolition job to me. How can this be "preserving a fantastic old building" when it has vanished?
Looks like a demolition job to me. How can this be "preserving a fantastic old building" when it has vanished? Morpheus

10:09am Tue 14 Jan 14

Richada says...

The artists impression shown here is simply hideous!

Whatever is done with this site, the Hippodrome frontage should be preserved.

Allow this to go ahead and it will set a dreadful precident for any re-development within the historic heart of the city.
The artists impression shown here is simply hideous! Whatever is done with this site, the Hippodrome frontage should be preserved. Allow this to go ahead and it will set a dreadful precident for any re-development within the historic heart of the city. Richada

10:21am Tue 14 Jan 14

s_james says...

Richada wrote:
The artists impression shown here is simply hideous!

Whatever is done with this site, the Hippodrome frontage should be preserved.

Allow this to go ahead and it will set a dreadful precident for any re-development within the historic heart of the city.
Judging by the adjacent buildings that is a different part of the street to the existing frontage. Its further north, near the entrance to Dukes Lane
[quote][p][bold]Richada[/bold] wrote: The artists impression shown here is simply hideous! Whatever is done with this site, the Hippodrome frontage should be preserved. Allow this to go ahead and it will set a dreadful precident for any re-development within the historic heart of the city.[/p][/quote]Judging by the adjacent buildings that is a different part of the street to the existing frontage. Its further north, near the entrance to Dukes Lane s_james

10:38am Tue 14 Jan 14

Richada says...

s_james wrote:
Richada wrote:
The artists impression shown here is simply hideous!

Whatever is done with this site, the Hippodrome frontage should be preserved.

Allow this to go ahead and it will set a dreadful precident for any re-development within the historic heart of the city.
Judging by the adjacent buildings that is a different part of the street to the existing frontage. Its further north, near the entrance to Dukes Lane
So it is! I should have gathered that from the "adjacent to Dukes Lane" there anyway.

Sadly, however that still doesn't actually make it any more attractive, or in-character with its surroundings. Having said that, the Middle Street Primary School on the opposite side of the road could hardly be classed an architectural gem.
[quote][p][bold]s_james[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Richada[/bold] wrote: The artists impression shown here is simply hideous! Whatever is done with this site, the Hippodrome frontage should be preserved. Allow this to go ahead and it will set a dreadful precident for any re-development within the historic heart of the city.[/p][/quote]Judging by the adjacent buildings that is a different part of the street to the existing frontage. Its further north, near the entrance to Dukes Lane[/p][/quote]So it is! I should have gathered that from the "adjacent to Dukes Lane" there anyway. Sadly, however that still doesn't actually make it any more attractive, or in-character with its surroundings. Having said that, the Middle Street Primary School on the opposite side of the road could hardly be classed an architectural gem. Richada

10:41am Tue 14 Jan 14

billy goat-gruff says...

Surely installing eight cinemas will ruin the interior space!
Surely installing eight cinemas will ruin the interior space! billy goat-gruff

11:12am Tue 14 Jan 14

observed says...

What is this? Surely car showrooms should be delegated to the admirable West Hove location!
What is this? Surely car showrooms should be delegated to the admirable West Hove location! observed

11:57am Tue 14 Jan 14

Lady Smith says...

Hilariously misleading illustration: 1) it's not even showing the right street 2) those are not the buildings that flank the Hippodrome 3) the footprint of the new building shown is clearly nowhere near the size of the existing one so, even if the Hippodrome was demolished, this would not fill the site.
Apart from that, it's perfect.
Hilariously misleading illustration: 1) it's not even showing the right street 2) those are not the buildings that flank the Hippodrome 3) the footprint of the new building shown is clearly nowhere near the size of the existing one so, even if the Hippodrome was demolished, this would not fill the site. Apart from that, it's perfect. Lady Smith

12:15pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Richada says...

Lady Smith wrote:
Hilariously misleading illustration: 1) it's not even showing the right street 2) those are not the buildings that flank the Hippodrome 3) the footprint of the new building shown is clearly nowhere near the size of the existing one so, even if the Hippodrome was demolished, this would not fill the site.
Apart from that, it's perfect.
Have a look at Google Street. This is currently the entrance to the car park that runs back and alongside the Hippodrome. Opposite Middle Street School - it is Middle street but further north.
[quote][p][bold]Lady Smith[/bold] wrote: Hilariously misleading illustration: 1) it's not even showing the right street 2) those are not the buildings that flank the Hippodrome 3) the footprint of the new building shown is clearly nowhere near the size of the existing one so, even if the Hippodrome was demolished, this would not fill the site. Apart from that, it's perfect.[/p][/quote]Have a look at Google Street. This is currently the entrance to the car park that runs back and alongside the Hippodrome. Opposite Middle Street School - it is Middle street but further north. Richada

1:32pm Tue 14 Jan 14

djwbrighton says...

looks amazing

http://youtu.be/4hbv
zmHtlIc
looks amazing http://youtu.be/4hbv zmHtlIc djwbrighton

1:50pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Richada says...

djwbrighton wrote:
looks amazing

http://youtu.be/4hbv

zmHtlIc
Thanks for that link - saw some of it on the local news last night.

The overall scheme does look "amazing" (as did the West Pier restoration and i360). All it needs now is a better looking entrance.

Don't think I'll be holding my breath waiting for thios one to take off.
[quote][p][bold]djwbrighton[/bold] wrote: looks amazing http://youtu.be/4hbv zmHtlIc[/p][/quote]Thanks for that link - saw some of it on the local news last night. The overall scheme does look "amazing" (as did the West Pier restoration and i360). All it needs now is a better looking entrance. Don't think I'll be holding my breath waiting for thios one to take off. Richada

2:16pm Tue 14 Jan 14

J Hill says...

So judging by this artists impression no attempt has been made whatsoever to it fitting in with other buildings in the area. I cannot for the life of me see how this is going to bring anything back to life let alone the Hippodrome. Surely some respect should have been held for the site and at least some though out into the design. Sarah Bernhardt, Sammy Davis, Jr., Gracie Fields, Harry Houdini, Buster Keaton, Lillie Langtry and Laurel and Hardy appeared on stage at the Hippodrome and one of Charlie Chaplin's first roles was a bit-part on stage here. They'd all turn in their graves if they could see this. I am constantly fed up with the way that Brighton's history is being mistreated and handled. Another idiotic design approved by the idiots running Brighton.
So judging by this artists impression no attempt has been made whatsoever to it fitting in with other buildings in the area. I cannot for the life of me see how this is going to bring anything back to life let alone the Hippodrome. Surely some respect should have been held for the site and at least some though out into the design. Sarah Bernhardt, Sammy Davis, Jr., Gracie Fields, Harry Houdini, Buster Keaton, Lillie Langtry and Laurel and Hardy appeared on stage at the Hippodrome and one of Charlie Chaplin's first roles was a bit-part on stage here. They'd all turn in their graves if they could see this. I am constantly fed up with the way that Brighton's history is being mistreated and handled. Another idiotic design approved by the idiots running Brighton. J Hill

2:23pm Tue 14 Jan 14

s_james says...

J Hill wrote:
So judging by this artists impression no attempt has been made whatsoever to it fitting in with other buildings in the area. I cannot for the life of me see how this is going to bring anything back to life let alone the Hippodrome. Surely some respect should have been held for the site and at least some though out into the design. Sarah Bernhardt, Sammy Davis, Jr., Gracie Fields, Harry Houdini, Buster Keaton, Lillie Langtry and Laurel and Hardy appeared on stage at the Hippodrome and one of Charlie Chaplin's first roles was a bit-part on stage here. They'd all turn in their graves if they could see this. I am constantly fed up with the way that Brighton's history is being mistreated and handled. Another idiotic design approved by the idiots running Brighton.
As noted above, the picture isn’t of the current entrance.

Generally speaking there is a place for striking modern architecture, and it can often look better than inferior pastiches of old buildings. I don’t think the building illustrated above is too bad.
[quote][p][bold]J Hill[/bold] wrote: So judging by this artists impression no attempt has been made whatsoever to it fitting in with other buildings in the area. I cannot for the life of me see how this is going to bring anything back to life let alone the Hippodrome. Surely some respect should have been held for the site and at least some though out into the design. Sarah Bernhardt, Sammy Davis, Jr., Gracie Fields, Harry Houdini, Buster Keaton, Lillie Langtry and Laurel and Hardy appeared on stage at the Hippodrome and one of Charlie Chaplin's first roles was a bit-part on stage here. They'd all turn in their graves if they could see this. I am constantly fed up with the way that Brighton's history is being mistreated and handled. Another idiotic design approved by the idiots running Brighton.[/p][/quote]As noted above, the picture isn’t of the current entrance. Generally speaking there is a place for striking modern architecture, and it can often look better than inferior pastiches of old buildings. I don’t think the building illustrated above is too bad. s_james

3:24pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Mart says...

I'm happy for it to be a cinema, but that frontage is a disgrace.

Historic central Brighton is not bl**dy Croydon or Milton Keynes.
I'm happy for it to be a cinema, but that frontage is a disgrace. Historic central Brighton is not bl**dy Croydon or Milton Keynes. Mart

4:18pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Brighton1000 says...

J Hill wrote:
So judging by this artists impression no attempt has been made whatsoever to it fitting in with other buildings in the area. I cannot for the life of me see how this is going to bring anything back to life let alone the Hippodrome. Surely some respect should have been held for the site and at least some though out into the design. Sarah Bernhardt, Sammy Davis, Jr., Gracie Fields, Harry Houdini, Buster Keaton, Lillie Langtry and Laurel and Hardy appeared on stage at the Hippodrome and one of Charlie Chaplin's first roles was a bit-part on stage here. They'd all turn in their graves if they could see this. I am constantly fed up with the way that Brighton's history is being mistreated and handled. Another idiotic design approved by the idiots running Brighton.
The greens have zero thought for the history of the town they run, We are seeing it again and again. Why there hasnt been a vote of no confidence tey is just beyond me!
[quote][p][bold]J Hill[/bold] wrote: So judging by this artists impression no attempt has been made whatsoever to it fitting in with other buildings in the area. I cannot for the life of me see how this is going to bring anything back to life let alone the Hippodrome. Surely some respect should have been held for the site and at least some though out into the design. Sarah Bernhardt, Sammy Davis, Jr., Gracie Fields, Harry Houdini, Buster Keaton, Lillie Langtry and Laurel and Hardy appeared on stage at the Hippodrome and one of Charlie Chaplin's first roles was a bit-part on stage here. They'd all turn in their graves if they could see this. I am constantly fed up with the way that Brighton's history is being mistreated and handled. Another idiotic design approved by the idiots running Brighton.[/p][/quote]The greens have zero thought for the history of the town they run, We are seeing it again and again. Why there hasnt been a vote of no confidence tey is just beyond me! Brighton1000

5:28pm Tue 14 Jan 14

s_james says...

Brighton1000 wrote:
J Hill wrote:
So judging by this artists impression no attempt has been made whatsoever to it fitting in with other buildings in the area. I cannot for the life of me see how this is going to bring anything back to life let alone the Hippodrome. Surely some respect should have been held for the site and at least some though out into the design. Sarah Bernhardt, Sammy Davis, Jr., Gracie Fields, Harry Houdini, Buster Keaton, Lillie Langtry and Laurel and Hardy appeared on stage at the Hippodrome and one of Charlie Chaplin's first roles was a bit-part on stage here. They'd all turn in their graves if they could see this. I am constantly fed up with the way that Brighton's history is being mistreated and handled. Another idiotic design approved by the idiots running Brighton.
The greens have zero thought for the history of the town they run, We are seeing it again and again. Why there hasnt been a vote of no confidence tey is just beyond me!
What this has got to do with the Greens? The developer has produced these plans. Anybody can draw up whatever plans they like for any site but for them to go ahead they will have to apply for planning permission, which would have to be granted by a cross-party planning committee.
[quote][p][bold]Brighton1000[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]J Hill[/bold] wrote: So judging by this artists impression no attempt has been made whatsoever to it fitting in with other buildings in the area. I cannot for the life of me see how this is going to bring anything back to life let alone the Hippodrome. Surely some respect should have been held for the site and at least some though out into the design. Sarah Bernhardt, Sammy Davis, Jr., Gracie Fields, Harry Houdini, Buster Keaton, Lillie Langtry and Laurel and Hardy appeared on stage at the Hippodrome and one of Charlie Chaplin's first roles was a bit-part on stage here. They'd all turn in their graves if they could see this. I am constantly fed up with the way that Brighton's history is being mistreated and handled. Another idiotic design approved by the idiots running Brighton.[/p][/quote]The greens have zero thought for the history of the town they run, We are seeing it again and again. Why there hasnt been a vote of no confidence tey is just beyond me![/p][/quote]What this has got to do with the Greens? The developer has produced these plans. Anybody can draw up whatever plans they like for any site but for them to go ahead they will have to apply for planning permission, which would have to be granted by a cross-party planning committee. s_james

5:42pm Tue 14 Jan 14

jay316 says...

That part is the current metal gates at the Front (middle street) and Back Car park area (ship street).
That part is the current metal gates at the Front (middle street) and Back Car park area (ship street). jay316

7:40pm Tue 14 Jan 14

John Fallon says...

Why not go onto the developer's website before criticising? The picture here is misleading. It's not the main Hippodrome entrance. Theatre supporters have had decades to come up with the millions that would be needed to turn it into a workable performance space. They haven't because it would never make money. At least with this option, the fantastic interior would survive, the façade will be restored and people will use the building again. And it'll have something of a performance space under the dome. It's this or another West Pier debacle, so let's get behind it. Leave it to the do-nothing squad and it'll rot further.
Why not go onto the developer's website before criticising? The picture here is misleading. It's not the main Hippodrome entrance. Theatre supporters have had decades to come up with the millions that would be needed to turn it into a workable performance space. They haven't because it would never make money. At least with this option, the fantastic interior would survive, the façade will be restored and people will use the building again. And it'll have something of a performance space under the dome. It's this or another West Pier debacle, so let's get behind it. Leave it to the do-nothing squad and it'll rot further. John Fallon

11:42pm Tue 14 Jan 14

brightonpip says...

Richada wrote:
The artists impression shown here is simply hideous!

Whatever is done with this site, the Hippodrome frontage should be preserved.

Allow this to go ahead and it will set a dreadful precident for any re-development within the historic heart of the city.
According to the developers website the frontage of the hippodrome will be preserved and restored. The choice of picture is misleading as it shows an entirely different part of the development to be built on over a car park on dukes lane..
[quote][p][bold]Richada[/bold] wrote: The artists impression shown here is simply hideous! Whatever is done with this site, the Hippodrome frontage should be preserved. Allow this to go ahead and it will set a dreadful precident for any re-development within the historic heart of the city.[/p][/quote]According to the developers website the frontage of the hippodrome will be preserved and restored. The choice of picture is misleading as it shows an entirely different part of the development to be built on over a car park on dukes lane.. brightonpip

12:00am Wed 15 Jan 14

brightonpip says...

Brighton1000 wrote:
J Hill wrote:
So judging by this artists impression no attempt has been made whatsoever to it fitting in with other buildings in the area. I cannot for the life of me see how this is going to bring anything back to life let alone the Hippodrome. Surely some respect should have been held for the site and at least some though out into the design. Sarah Bernhardt, Sammy Davis, Jr., Gracie Fields, Harry Houdini, Buster Keaton, Lillie Langtry and Laurel and Hardy appeared on stage at the Hippodrome and one of Charlie Chaplin's first roles was a bit-part on stage here. They'd all turn in their graves if they could see this. I am constantly fed up with the way that Brighton's history is being mistreated and handled. Another idiotic design approved by the idiots running Brighton.
The greens have zero thought for the history of the town they run, We are seeing it again and again. Why there hasnt been a vote of no confidence tey is just beyond me!
I agree the design is not great architecture ...yet. But this is just an outline proposal and the public and no doubt local architectural and historical societies will all get a say before the final design proposals are put before the council for consideration.

As far as I can see nothing has been agreed so its a bit premature to blame the greens, or the cross party planning committee that will make the final decision, just yet.. but let's not deny anyone the chance to turn this into another opportunity to score a few political points... Just bear in mind we don't have to look far to find copious examples of hideous architecture and wide scale demolition of historic buildings imposed on our city long before the greens arrived on the scene.
[quote][p][bold]Brighton1000[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]J Hill[/bold] wrote: So judging by this artists impression no attempt has been made whatsoever to it fitting in with other buildings in the area. I cannot for the life of me see how this is going to bring anything back to life let alone the Hippodrome. Surely some respect should have been held for the site and at least some though out into the design. Sarah Bernhardt, Sammy Davis, Jr., Gracie Fields, Harry Houdini, Buster Keaton, Lillie Langtry and Laurel and Hardy appeared on stage at the Hippodrome and one of Charlie Chaplin's first roles was a bit-part on stage here. They'd all turn in their graves if they could see this. I am constantly fed up with the way that Brighton's history is being mistreated and handled. Another idiotic design approved by the idiots running Brighton.[/p][/quote]The greens have zero thought for the history of the town they run, We are seeing it again and again. Why there hasnt been a vote of no confidence tey is just beyond me![/p][/quote]I agree the design is not great architecture ...yet. But this is just an outline proposal and the public and no doubt local architectural and historical societies will all get a say before the final design proposals are put before the council for consideration. As far as I can see nothing has been agreed so its a bit premature to blame the greens, or the cross party planning committee that will make the final decision, just yet.. but let's not deny anyone the chance to turn this into another opportunity to score a few political points... Just bear in mind we don't have to look far to find copious examples of hideous architecture and wide scale demolition of historic buildings imposed on our city long before the greens arrived on the scene. brightonpip

7:48am Wed 15 Jan 14

John Steed says...

the developers claim it will create 200 jobs!!!!!. HOW? building works simply are short term works for existing workers, not new jobs created, so will the running of this place require that many? come on argus do some delving.
the developers claim it will create 200 jobs!!!!!. HOW? building works simply are short term works for existing workers, not new jobs created, so will the running of this place require that many? come on argus do some delving. John Steed

1:24pm Wed 15 Jan 14

MrDavis says...

Seems like a good idea. The Odean cinema need knocking down with the Brighton Centre and who wants to go to the awful Marina? I understand from speaking to a surveyor who inspected the site that the current building is unusable.
Seems like a good idea. The Odean cinema need knocking down with the Brighton Centre and who wants to go to the awful Marina? I understand from speaking to a surveyor who inspected the site that the current building is unusable. MrDavis

5:20pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Pheasant pluckers son says...

Your having a laugh, knocking down yet another one of the city's magnificent buildings to be replaced by a glorified greenhouse. Many would agree that leaving the original facade of the hippodrome would be more pleasant to the eye and in keeping with the area.
In doubt the council will agree to it.
Your having a laugh, knocking down yet another one of the city's magnificent buildings to be replaced by a glorified greenhouse. Many would agree that leaving the original facade of the hippodrome would be more pleasant to the eye and in keeping with the area. In doubt the council will agree to it. Pheasant pluckers son

1:59pm Fri 24 Jan 14

jo_brown says...

Lets get on with it! Don't want another West Pier fiasco. This scheme will see the Hippodrome restored and the area around it regenerated. Do nothing and it will rot, because much as the petition signers for a live venue have the best intentions, there is no money on the table for this option. Last chance saloon for this building I am afraid, lets not lose this opportunity.
Lets get on with it! Don't want another West Pier fiasco. This scheme will see the Hippodrome restored and the area around it regenerated. Do nothing and it will rot, because much as the petition signers for a live venue have the best intentions, there is no money on the table for this option. Last chance saloon for this building I am afraid, lets not lose this opportunity. jo_brown

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree