The Saville Theatre on London’s Shaftesbury Avenue, once leased by The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein for shows by acts including Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, The Who and Jimi Hendrix, is to once again stage live shows having been acquired by Yoo Capital Investment Management.
Yoo is currently involved in the £1.3 billion redevelopment of Olympia London, a 14-acre site that will include a new 4,400-capacity live entertainment venue operated by AEG Facilities, and a 1,575-seat theatre operated by Trafalgar Entertainment Group.
The former Saville Theatre is currently home to an Odeon Cinema but Yoo said the intention is to invest in the building’s “cultural use”. The venue celebrates its 90th birthday this year having opened its doors as a theatre in October 1931. In the 1960s Epstein leased the theatre and used it to host live performances by acts including the Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, The Who and Jimi Hendrix. It is also the location where the Beatles recorded Hello Goodbye in 1967.
The Saville operated successfully as a theatre until 1970, when it was converted to an ABC cinema. The listed building is also notable for the 40m frieze designed by sculptor Gilbert Bayes that runs across its frontage and depicts Drama Through the Ages.
Yoo Capital managing partner Lloyd Lee said: “We are excited to acquire one of London’s true hidden gems. The Saville has been a very special home of live theatre and entertainment for 90 years. On behalf of the firm and our investors, we consider ourselves privileged to be able to commit our resources to secure its long-term future. We look forward to working with existing stakeholders, the community, arts groups and the London Borough of Camden on our proposals for investment.”