Troxy celebrates 88th birthday and unveils landmark restoration project

Restoring an East London Icon

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East London art deco venue Troxy has unveiled a substantial restoration project ahead of its 88th birthday, this Saturday 11th September. 

The venue, which reopens this month with a series of events, including a gig with legendary ska band The Specials on 25th September, has completed the first stages of an ambitious transformation project. The team has been working for over 12 months, to create a brand-new stage, enabling larger productions, restored the foyer and entrance area and created new facilities for visitors to the venue. 

The project design has been led by historic building specialists Ian Chalk Architects with on site management by M Bradbrook Electrical Services. The owners of Troxy have invested heavily in the refurbishment with significant support from Arts Council England. The works have been championed by the Theatres Trust and Tower Hamlets Council, ensuring every element is in line with its Grade II listed status. 

On arrival, visitors to the venue will immediately see the return of the stunning travertine floor in the foyer thanks to the removal of the 1990s box office and renovation by stonemasons. This space has been completely transformed in line with its original design.

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The stage has undergone a huge amount of work to expose the original fly tower within the original proscenium arch, not seen since the 1970s, and bring it up to date with cutting edge production. The stage has moved back to where it was situated in the 1930s. The non-authentic rear wall has been removed to expose the huge original stage area, behind the proscenium arch. One huge stage area with wings has been created, enabling large scale productions with rapid changeovers for concerts and award ceremonies. 

Gig goers will be pleased to hear that the ventilation systems have been overhauled to bring the original venue plant back into use, creating much improved airflow and conditions for concerts and club nights. The venue has eliminated any recirculating air, so it now runs at a 100% fresh air supply.

Tom Sutton-Roberts, General Manager at Troxy explains;

“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.”

This project is the first major refurbishment to this iconic building since 2006 and is the first stage of a multi-year plan to restore many of the venue’s original features. 

During the project, the building team discovered an incredible, original 30s decorative ceiling hidden above the VIP bar. The team are now working on a fundraising project to be able to bring the fantastic ceiling back into use in the next phase of the restoration. For now, it’s been carefully covered over to protect it. 

Troxy has been through a number of incarnations since 1933. The building started life as a cinema, before being used as practice rooms for the Royal Opera House, a bingo hall and then brought out of disuse and reborn as the versatile live events venue it is today. Every incarnation of the building has meant changes have taken place to its original structure and design.

When it reopens, Troxy will introduce a series of Covid-safety features including touch free basins in the toilets, sanitising stations throughout the venue and all team members and serving staff will wear masks to protect audiences and have regular lateral flow tests. 

For full listings for Autumn and Winter 2021 visit: https://troxy.co.uk/whats-on/.

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