Historic London venue The Coronet has announced that it is to close after almost 140 years of trading.
Having first opened its doors as the Elephant & Castle Theatre in 1879 — where a very young Charlie Chaplin is said to have performed — the South London venue has also operated as a cinema and film centre before taking on its current guise as a 2,600-capacity multi-purpose live music and entertainment venue.
In a statement on the venue’s website, director Richard Littman announced that The Coronet would close its doors on 5 January 2017, having secured a one year lease extension with the building’s landlords.
“We have been here for so long, and we will be really sad to go,” said Littman, who cited the ongoing redevelopment of the Elephant & Castle area of London where The Coronet is located as a contributing factor to its forthcoming closure.
“It’s become clear that the evolving character of the area is no longer right for a venue like ours,” Littman went on to say, adding, “Rather than fighting against change, we want to focus on celebrating The Coronet’s incredible history.”
To that end, the 1920s art deco styled venue will host a final year of events, concerts and gigs before shutting its doors one final time.
The news of The Coronet’s decision forthcoming closure comes several weeks after a report from the office of London Mayor Boris Johnson warned that the city’s live music industry is increasingly under threat at a grassroots level.
Since 2007, 35 percent of London’s smaller-sized music venues have closed, with the number of spaces programming new artists dropping from 136 to 88, said the “Grassroots Music Venues Rescue Plan.”
The Marquee, Astoria, 12 Bar Club and Madame Jojos are just some of the famous names to have shuttered in that time. Rising rents, business rates and licensing restrictions have been blamed with accelerating the decline of London’s live music scene. One of the solutions proposed by the Mayor’s Office Music Venues Taskforce was to follow the Netherlands’ example and install a ‘Night Mayor’ to champion and promote the sector.