Artistic Director Anda Winters today announces that The Print Room will move to a new, permanent home in the stunning former Victorian playhouse - The Coronet, Notting Hill. This major development will enable the company to considerably expand its diverse programming and will open up the iconic building to the community.
Currently a two-screen cinema, the former Victorian theatre will become the company's new theatre space and administration offices. The increased size of the venue will enable the company to further develop aspects of the building over time, while remaining fully operational. The move ensures the building's preservation for public use.
The company have engaged architects Studio Indigo to oversee the renovation work, which will take place in stages, enabling the company to take up residence this autumn and launch their inaugural season in the smaller cinema space, which will be converted into a 100-seat theatre. The larger space will continue to operate as a cinema under the direction of The Print Room artistic team.
The venue will eventually include three flexible theatre spaces - the largest of which will remain fully operational as a cinema with both 35mm and digital facilities; rehearsal and workshop spaces; administration offices and a restaurant and bar.
Anda Winters said today, "We are thrilled to be moving to such a glorious new home in Notting Hill. The Print Room began its journey five years ago in a derelict printing workshop on Hereford Road, and we have now found a permanent home on our doorstep. It's a truly grand space where we can keep delivering our eclectic programme of world-class drama, innovative dance, diverse music, poetry, exhibitions and other performing arts, with the addition of world-class cinema.
"Our involvement with the local community, through our free and discounted ticket offers and education programme, will increase along with the development of the new space. The possibilities for The Coronet are extraordinary, and we will bring to it the same nurturing spirit we developed in our first life in Hereford Road. This move will secure the company's long-term future in the heart of Notting Hill."
The Print Room has been looking for a new home since its current landlord declared an intention to demolish the current building in order to create luxury accommodation. The move to The Coronet fulfils the long-term plans of the company to secure a permanent future.
The Coronet first opened as a theatre in 1898 with a capacity of 1,143 seats. It was designed by one of the leading architects of the time, W.G.R. Sprague, at a cost of £25,000. His other work included Wyndham's Theatre, Aldwych Theatre
and the Noel Coward Theatre. It quickly gained a reputation as one of the finest theatres outside the West End, with appearances from actors including Ellen Terry
and Sarah Bernhardt
, and was frequented by King Edward VII. John Gielgud
saw his first Shakespeare production at the theatre, As You Like It,
Though film screenings at the Coronet began in 1916, it didn't become a full-time cinema until 1923. Between 1950 and 1977 it was named the Gaumont Theatre after its owners, Gaumont-British Cinemas. Then, after a period where it looked like the cinema might close, it was bought by the independent operator Panton Films, who chose to return the name to The Coronet Cinema and refurbish the seating, decreasing the capacity to 400. In 2002, a second 150-seat screen was installed and The Coronet has functioned as a two-screen cinema since then.