Unveiling The
Eventim Apollo

After a nine-week refurbishment, the former  in London has reopened as the Eventim Apollo, named after the German ticketing giant that co-owns it.

Photo: Tom Cronin

Last year Eventim and AEG Live paid HMV an estimated £32 million ($50 million) for the venue, as the troubled music retailer tried to reduce its debt mountain.

On Sept. 6 the new owners publicly unveiled how the venue formerly known as the Hammersmith Odeon has been restored to its 1932 Art Deco glory.

A wealth of original features have been uncovered, including a terrazzo floor in the entrance that has spent years under carpet.

“We knew it was there because of old black and white photos, but we didn’t know the condition. But we had a peek and saw it was really something,” explained architect Edmund Wilson. “I think it is one of the best art deco buildings in London, up there with the Savoy and other art deco buildings on the Strand.”

Beautiful friezes by the artist Newbury Abbott Trent, also in the entrance hall, have been restored, while blacked-out windows in the circle bar have had paint removed to reveal their elaborate original frosting.

The refurbishment also includes restoring ornate plasterwork and historically sensitive decoration to match the original paint scheme, uncovering two marble staircases currently concealed beneath the extended stage, and restoring the original foyer floor mosaic panels.

The 1932 building designed by Robert Cromie began life as the Gaumont Palace before becoming the Hammersmith Odeon and, in 1999, the Hammersmith Apollo.

Acts in the pipeline include Billy Joel, Paul Weller, Jimmy Carr, Pixies, Russell Brand, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Sean Lock and Jason Manford.