East London art deco venue the Troxy has been unveiled following a restoration project ahead of its 88th birthday tomorrow, 11 September.
The 3,100-capacity Ashburn Estates Ltd-owned venue will reopen this month with a show by The Specials.
The restoration work over the past 12 months has included a new stage to enable larger productions, a restored foyer and entrance area, and new facilities for the venue’s visitors.
The project design has been led by building specialists Ian Chalk Architects with on-site management by M Bradbrook Electrical Services. The owners of Troxy have invested in the refurbishment with support from Arts Council England. The works have been supported by the Theatres Trust and Tower Hamlets Council, ensuring it is in line with its Grade II listed status.
The venue’s travertine floor in the foyer will return following the removal of its 1990s box office and renovation by stonemasons. The space has been transformed in line with its original design.
The stage has undergone work to expose the original fly tower within the original proscenium arch, which has not been seen since the 1970s. The stage has moved back to where it was situated in the 1930s.
The non-authentic rear wall has been removed to expose the original stage area, behind the proscenium arch. One stage area with wings has been created, enabling large-scale productions with quick changeovers for concerts and award ceremonies.
The venue’s ventilation systems have been overhauled to bring the original venue plant back into use, creating improved airflow and conditions for concerts and club nights. The venue has eliminated any recirculating air and it now runs at a 100% fresh air supply.
This project is the first major refurbishment to the building since 2006 and is the first stage of a multi-year plan to restore some of the venue’s original features.
During the project, the building team said it discovered an original 1930s decorative ceiling hidden above the VIP bar. The team said it is now working on a fundraising project to bring the ceiling back into use in the next phase of the restoration. It is currently being covered over to protect it.
When it reopens this month, the venue’s operators said a series of Covid-safe features will be introduced including touch-free basins in the toilets, sanitising stations, and all team members and serving staff will wear masks and have regular lateral flow tests.
Troxy general manager Tom Sutton-Roberts said, “These renovations have given us an insight into some of the hidden 1930s grandeur and original features, which have been covered up by previous generations. As much as possible we are returning them to their original design and intention of the building, while improving accessibility and audience experience for those working at and visiting Troxy.”