The public can see the inside of the Hippodrome for the first time in more than a decade this week.

The Grade II* listed building in Middle Street, Brighton, has been closed for 16 years after it shut its doors in 2007.

More than £5 million has been put in to completely renovate the roof to prevent water seeping in.

Paintwork on the ceiling and above the stage has been completed in the style of how it was when Frank Matcham, a theatre architect, redesigned it back in 1902.

The Argus: Above the stage of the HippodromeAbove the stage of the Hippodrome (Image: The Argus)

Notable faces including DJ Fatboy Slim, Green MP Caroline Lucas and Mayor of Brighton Jackie O’Quinn were invited to see the inside of the auditorium today as works progress.

And the public can turn up and see the interior on Thursday and Friday between 10am and 3pm.

Simon Lambor, director of Matsim, the company which bought the building in September 2020, was glad to welcome people back in.

He said: “It was pretty daunting taking on board a 2,000-capacity venue in 2020 during the pandemic. We have spent in excess of £5 million pounds installing a new roof of the auditorium and completing restoration of the plaster work under that.

“It’s great having the scaffolding dropped and having people back in here to feel the atmosphere of the space again.

“We took the scaffolding down two weeks ago.

The Argus: People were invited to see the works on the HippodromePeople were invited to see the works on the Hippodrome (Image: The Argus)

“We have been discussing with the planners our proposals for the building in the three years that we’ve owned it.

“The new planning application has been with them for some time now, we’re at the point where we can’t commit to doing any more work until we’ve got the necessary consents in place.

“We have been consulting with Historic England throughout. The colourway here is reflecting Frank Matcham’s initial colours which we worked out through a very detailed historic paint analysis. This is from 1902.”

The Argus: The site in November 2020 before it was refurbishedThe site in November 2020 before it was refurbished

The 127-year-old Hippodrome was originally built in 1896 as an ice rink, before becoming a circus ring for animal displays in 1901.

Acts including The Beatles and The Rolling Stones performed there in the 1960s.

It then became a bingo hall from 1967 until 2006 when it closed.

Since then, there have been several plans submitted for alternative uses which have not been successful.