A Short History of the Theatre
The Streatham Hill Theatre was built by W G R Sprague and W H Barton and opened its doors on 18th November 1929. At that time Streatham, together with Brixton, was very much the entertainment centre of South London with its many theatres and cinemas; so much so that it was nicknamed the “West End of South London”.
The purpose of the theatre was to be a home for the larger touring West End productions and quickly became one of the main venues on the circuit attracting such big name stars as John Gielgud, Edith Evans, Ivor Novello, Flora Robson and Vivian Leigh.
During the War disaster struck when on 3rd July 1944 the building was hit by a bomb, damaging the auditorium and part of the stage, one person was killed and several were injured. It was not until 1950 that the venue was restored back to its original splendour.
The building continued as a theatre for another twelve years, but with the rapid growth of Television and dwindling audiences it was finally forced to close. In 1962 the venue was converted into a Bingo Hall and it is thanks to the management of Riva Bingo and the patronage of the local heroines represented in these paintings that this South London landmark survives.