Plans have been unveiled for the redevelopment and restoration of The Saville Theatre on London’s Shaftesbury Avenue.
The venue first opened in 1931, and has hosted live performances by acts including the Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, The Who and Jimi Hendrix.
In more recent times the site has housed a four-screen Odeon cinema, but there are now plans to return the building to a live performance venue, including new accommodation and dining facilities.
Real estate investment firm Yoo Capital – which acquired the site in 2021 – said that it was in discussion “with a number of esteemed project partners to inspire and bring to life its vision for the development”.
As part of this it confirmed that the Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group is “exploring the venue as its first permanent home in the UK, to bring a first of its kind artistic experience to London and the UK”.
In addition architects SPPARC is leading proposed masterplan designs which would see a new hotel by Dutch group citizenM incorporated into the development, and a “comprehensive F&B offering” is set to be provided by Incipio Group.
Last year CitizenM opened its fourth London property on Vauxhall Bridge Road close to Victoria train station (for our Tried and Tested review click here), and a hotel is also under development within the transformed Olympia London exhibition site.
Yoo Capital said that consultation and engagement discussions have commenced with local groups regarding the redevelopment of The Saville Theatre, with planning permission set to be submitted “when all elements have been considered and finalized”.
Commenting on the news Lloyd Lee, managing partner, Yoo Capital, said:
“The Saville Theatre is part of the historical entertainment fabric of London’s world-famous West End. From its origins as a live performance venue that saw everything from plays, musicals and live concerts by The Bee Gees, Elton John, and the Beatles, to its closure in 1970 and conversion to a cinema, the Saville remains an iconic venue in the heart of London.
“Yoo Capital is thrilled to have the opportunity to restore the theatre’s original purpose as a live performance space, in partnership with the world’s most reputable live performers, Cirque du Soleil, who have chosen to explore the potential for the Saville to be their first ever permanent experience in London. We are also delighted to be in partnership discussions with world class operators citizenM and Incipio Group.
“We are committed to contributing this beautiful building back into the wonderful tapestry of live performance around the West End by revitalising its theatrical and hospitality history in a modern way.
“It has been relatively forgotten and underinvested in comparison to its sibling theatres and the buildings along Shaftesbury Avenue. Our plans will look to optimise benefits to the local community and the West End theatrical, live entertainment and hospitality industry.”
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