A theatre closed to the public for 80 years has opened its doors following a three-year multimillion-pound restoration project led by architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios.

Alexandra Park and Palace Charitable Trust (APPCT) unveiled its Theatre and East Court as finishing touches were made for the opening events in early December. The East Wing Restoration Project was supported by the National Lottery and Haringey Council, with £18.8 million of the total £27 million project coming from lottery money – one of its biggest ever grants for a heritage project.

While restoration of the theatre is complete, a new café and creative learning zone are to be built within the East Court, originally dubbed the ‘Cabinet of Curiosity’, so people can use the space throughout the day and around the year. The space will also be home to a new interactive installation telling the story of the palace’s role in the development of British entertainment.

Alexandra Palace is a charitable trust responsible for maintaining the building and parkland in north London. The theatre opened in 1875 and was home to some of the most advanced Victorian stage machinery allowing performers to disappear, reappear and fly through the air. The larger Alexandra Palace is surrounded by 196 acres of Grade II listed parkland.

Stuart Hobley, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in London said: “Alexandra Palace is one of North London’s best-loved landmarks and has played an era-defining role in popular culture, from the birth of television to the Pink Floyd-headlined 14 Hour Technicolour Dream.”

Louise Stewart, chief executive of APPCT, said: “People from London and beyond can now explore this incredible space that has been hidden from the public. HLF, Haringey Council and countless individuals, trusts and businesses have supported this project and helped make the reopening a reality.”

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[Jez Abbott/World Architecture News – original article]

[Dan Austin/Alexandra Palace Blog (APPCT) – original article]

[Picture/Video -Alexandra Palace Blog (APPCT)]