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Concern grows over future of Golders Green Hippodrome

PUBLISHED: 10:04 10 March 2017

Golders Green Hippodrome (Pic: Google Earth)

Golders Green Hippodrome (Pic: Google Earth)

Archant

Concern is growing over the future of a historic theatre in Golders Green used for decades as a concert and rehearsal venue.

Notices have appeared on the walls and entrance doors of the 104-year-old Golders Green Hippodrome announcing that the freehold held by the El Shaddai International Centre is going under the hammer on May 9.

The charge has been brought by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), with a writ of possession granted by the High Court.

Thomas Radice, who lives in Middleton Road, said he saw the notice as he was passing by last Sunday. He said: “I noticed the church was empty when I was waiting for the bus. Normally it would be thronged with worshippers but it was closed.

“The notice on it stated a fairly imminent date of an auction of the freehold by Savills on 9th May. I don’t understand why the Dept of Communities and Local Government was the applicant for the Writ of Possession. This will certainly arouse concern and speculation as to what’s going to happen.”

The hippodrome, which is Grade II-listed, was built in 1913 by Bertie Crewe as a 3,000 seat music hall.

It has staged performances and live concerts with a host of performers including Danny La Rue and Marlene Dietrich.

It was bought by the BBC in 1960 and used as concert and rehearsal venue for the BBC Concert Orchestra until 2003.

It remained vacant and derelict until 2007 when it was sold to the church for around £5million.

Mr Radice added: “I’m not very optimistic as it needs a lot of money spent on it. The BBC used it for 40 years and they were concerned by the costs.

It was very popular in the old days. Countless older people like myself remember being taken to the pantomime in the 1950s.

“We hope for chance of it being reverted to a theatre, concert hall or entertainment venue but I don’t think people around here are optimistic. There is quite a bit of concern about its future.”

A council spokeswoman said: “The Golders Green Hippodrome is one of our borough’s Grade II listed buildings, and we would like to see it protected and maintained going forward.”

El Shaddai centre and DCLG have been contacted.

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