Alexandra Park and Palace Charitable Trust (APPCT) has launched a public fundraising campaign
to support the restoration of its stunning Victorian Theatre, dating back to 1875, bringing it back to life for theatrical performances, cinema screenings, comedy and live music, and set to open its doors in 2018.
The Victorian Theatre, which, apart from the occasional one off event, has been closed to audiences for 80 years, is part of a larger East Wing Restoration Project which will transform the eastern end of Alexandra Palace into a new cultural destination, to rival the best on offer elsewhere, while doing justice to the building’s rich and eclectic history. It is part of a sustainable, long-term plan for Alexandra Palace which will see it achieve its full potential and safeguard it for future generations.
Alexandra Palace is an extraordinary part of this country’s heritage and social history. It is not just an iconic London landmark and a unique piece of Victorian architecture that has weathered two catastrophic fires, but it has always been and continues to be a trailblazing venue for popular entertainment.
The East Wing of the Palace demonstrates this perfectly. The Victorian theatre was state of the art in its day. Its subsequent use as a cinema started at the beginning of the cinema age, meaning that we have one of the earliest surviving projection boxes. The Palace’s role in the birth of broadcast television cements its unique and important place on the international heritage stage.
The Palace’s more recent history is just as groundbreaking with a list of visiting luminaries including the Dalai Lama and Yehudi Menuhin; playing host to an eclectic mix of events; and making its mark in every decade of music from jazz in the 50s through to Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, the Stone Roses, Blur, and Grace Jones headlining Afropunk last weekend.
The modern role of the Palace as one of London’s iconic event venues belies what lies behind its walls. The building is 40% derelict, its history and secrets hidden from public view, its stories largely untold.
But now we have an opportunity to make a real difference. With the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and Haringey Council, we are fundraising for the final £1m of an ambitious £27m restoration project. A project that will see the whole East Wing made accessible to the public in Spring 2018, as was intended when it opened in 1875.
To find out more or donate, visit: http://support.alexandrapalace.com/