Home to Club NME every Friday - Expect live bands and resident DJs in the main room, plus pop-up shows and parties upstairs in the Gallery.
The building was originally the Camden Theatre, which was one of the largest theatres in London outside the West End, with a capacity of 2,434. Designed by the prolific theatre architect W.G.R. Sprague, the exterior’s symmetrical stone facade is designed in a Classical style with four stone pillars that are spaced between windows. The building is dominated by a large copper dome, that originally had an open lantern that was topped by a statue. There were also eight statues of classical figures mounted on the corner pediments of the building. Decorated in a beautiful Baroque style with naked female figures holding supports for the boxes and columns, the rectangular marble proscenium is topped by more plaster reliefs of reclining naked women. The ceiling contains a shallow dome.
The theatre was opened in December 1900 by Ellen Terry, then the most celebrated actress in England, who had lived in nearby Stanhope Street as a child. A local newspaper called the St Pancras Gazette commented as follows in a review of the Palace Theatre’s production of an opera called The Geisha in 1901:
“It is a matter of special gratification that the opera was presented at our beautiful local theatre on a scale of magnificence and completeness which would do credit to a West End theatre, but this is nothing new at the Camden Theatre, being rather a continuation of the policy with which the proprietors started their enterprise, viz. to offer nothing to their patrons but standard work, which has received the unmistakable approval of critics and public”
On 6 December 1909 it converted into a variety theatre and was re-named Camden Hippodrome Theatre. By 1911 films were being presented as part of the programme and in January 1913 it went over to become a full time cinema known as the Camden Hippodrome Picture Theatre. Operated by Biocolour Picture Theatres Ltd. from January 1928, they were taken over by the Gaumont British Cinema circuit in July 1930.
Closed during World War II, it survived the mid 20th century, when many similar buildings were demolished, including Camden Town’s other theatre, the Bedford in Parkway, largely because it became a BBC radio theatre from 1945. Programmes recorded there included the Goon Show. In the 1970s it became a live music venue, called The Music Machine, and in 1982 became the Camden Palace, and in 2004 it was redeveloped and renamed once again as KOKO, with a capacity of 1,500. The previous industrial fittings of the Camden Palace were removed and it was repainted in a dark red colour.
Since then it has hosted concerts for bands like of Coldplay, Madonna, and Babyshambles and has regular weekly club nights. The video for the Placebo’s Because I Want You single was shot at the venue.
KOKO’s new rooftop bar has opened this Summer. Early gig drinks offers available to ticketholders. Visit KOKO’s website for more details.
Edited by miss_vegas on 14 Aug 2014, 10:39
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shameless wikipedia rip-off
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