Councillor Geoffrey Theobald deserves our thanks for asking Brighton and Hove City Council to explore the possibilities of protecting and retaining the 19th-Century Brighton Hippodrome as a theatre (The Argus, September 22).

At present, large-scale musical productions from the West End, such as Beauty And The Beast, play at Southampton's Mayflower Theatre (originally a variety theatre) or Eastbourne's Congress Theatre but bypass Brighton due to the lack of a suitable venue.

Brighton Hippodrome has the required seating capacity and full-scale staging facilities, plus a useful open space between the fly tower of the stage and Ship Street.

In the Moss Empire days, elaborate London Palladium productions would come to the Hippodrome at the end of their London run.

I recall the Crazy Gang shows with Flanagan and Allen and the George Black revues. Ivor Novello's spectacular King's Rhapsody included a realistic train crash on stage.

We must not let the Hippodrome go the way of the Regent and the Essoldo, formerly the Imperial Theatre.

  • Bert Hobden, Overhill Drive, Patcham, Brighton