The Adelphi Theatre, 409 – 412 Strand, London

From the website arthurlloyd.co.uk:

“The Adelphi Theatre, which is situated on the Strand in London, has a long and involved history stretching right back to 1806. There have been four Theatres constructed on this site over the years but the fourth and present Theatre opened as the Royal Adelphi Theatre on the 3rd of December 1930 with a musical by Benn W. Levy and Lorenz Hart called ‘ Ever Green’.

The original Theatre on the site was built in 1806 by Mr. Jay of London Wall to the designs of Samuel Beazley and was known as the Sans Pareil.

The Sans Pareil was sold in 1819 and renamed The Adelphi Theatre, and later became the Theatre Royal Adelphi in October 1829. A new Facade was added to the Theatre in 1840, again designed by Samuel Beazley, the original architect of the Theatre.

This first Adelphi Theatre was replaced in 1858 by a new Theatre, built by J. Wilson to the designs of T. H. Wyatt.

This building with a capacity of 1,500 was renovated in 1879, and then again in 1887, when it was also enlarged, this time to the designs of Spencer Chadwick. A public house called the Hampshire Hog, the house next door, and the Nell Gwynne Tavern in Bull Inn Court were all bought by the Gattis, who had run the Theatre since 1879, in order to facilitate the enlargement of the Theatre.

The Gattis also built a new enlarged Facade at this time and part of this can still be seen (see image) today above the current Crystal Rooms, originally the Adelphi Restaurant, next door to the present Adelphi Theatre’s entrance.  

The second Adelphi Theatre was the scene of a now famous crime when on the 16th of December 1897 during the run of ‘Secret Service’ William Terriss was murdered whilst entering the Theatre by the royal entrance in Maiden Lane which he used as a private entrance.

The stage door of the current Adelphi is in Maiden Lane but back then it was in Bull Inn Court. William Terriss would later have a Theatre named after him, the Terriss Theatre in Rotherhithe, later known as the Rotherhithe Hippodrome.

Horatio Lloyd, Arthur Lloyd’s father, was born at his father Robert Lloyd’s Hatters Shop at 71 the Strand, opposite the first Adelphi Theatre in 1809, although at this time the Theatre was known as the Sans Pareil.”

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