AN OPENING date has been announced for Brighton's historic Hippodrome...and Fatboy Slim wants to be the first to perform.

The theatre in Middle Street will open its doors on November 22, 2024, The Argus can reveal.

The Hove DJ has confirmed he would like to play at the opening.

The Argus: Inside the HippodromeInside the Hippodrome

Restoration works are in full swing after the Matsim Group bought the building in October 2020.

And now building plans have been submitted, a fixed opening date has been confirmed.

The date has been chosen as November marks 60 years since the last live performance at the venue. It was thought to have been Chuck Berry - but organisers hope Argus readers can confirm that.

The Argus: Fatboy Slim recently played to thousands of people on the beachFatboy Slim recently played to thousands of people on the beach

Speaking about the opening date, which was only confirmed late yesterday afternoon, Bill Murray, who handles the Hippodrome’s publicity, said: "Norman has confirmed that he would like to play, and now we're hoping to book him for it.

The Argus: Hippodrome plansHippodrome plans

"We are planning a 'Best of Brighton' week.

"Each night will showcase the best of various genres, hopefully starting with Fatboy Slim, joined by a selection of other major local acts and DJs.

"That will be followed by nights of comedy, music, cabaret and burlesque, jazz and classical, a week of local music and performance for the people of Brighton and Hove to revel in being back in the fabulous auditorium."

The Argus: An aerial view of the HippodromeAn aerial view of the Hippodrome

When The Argus visited the Hippodrome on Tuesday, gold trim was being carefully fitted following the installation of a new roof earlier in the year.

The completed venue will have a capacity of about 1,500.

The Hippodrome first opened in 1896 but was left to fall apart following its closure in 2006.

Throughout its lifetime the space was used as an ice rink, a circus, and even a bingo hall in its later years.

The Argus: The Rolling Stones in their dressing room at the HippodromeThe Rolling Stones in their dressing room at the Hippodrome

But most notably perhaps was when the Hippodrome played host to rock and roll royalty in the mid Sixties.

In 1964, The Beatles played twice and The Rolling Stones played three times.

The Rolling Stones were photographed cramming into a tiny back stage room - an image on which designers are using to base the dressing room’s restoration.

The Argus: The Rolling Stones' dressing room as it is nowThe Rolling Stones' dressing room as it is now

As part of its plans, Matsim is applying for an alcohol licence, which the venue held from 1898 until its closure in 2006.

Matsim intends for the space to be multipurpose – hosting live music events, cabaret shows and comedy nights – but during the day hopes to draw people in to see the incredible space, steeped in history, by offering food and drink.