The Astoria Theatre on the corner of Charing Cross Road and Oxford Street in London was the first of the famous Astoria cinemas. Originally a Crosse & Blackwell pickle factory, it was converted into a cinema which opened in January 1927. A year later the basement was converted into a dance hall.
The building had an ornate Italian Renaissance facade facing onto Charing Cross Road. The auditorium, which could seat 2,000 people comfortably, had a Pompeiian-style barrel-vault ceiling supported by Doric columns.
The cinema continued to operate for another five decades, closing only for a few months at the height of the Blitz in 1940. The interior was modified (and simpified) in 1968, and in 1977 the cinema was converted into a theatre, which closed in 1984. A year later the Astoria reopened as a music venue. In this incarnation it hosted bands such as Nirvana, the Rolling Stones and Pearl Jam. Finally, in the 21st century, the building hosted the popular gay nightclub G-A-Y.
The end of an era came for this London landmark in 2008 when the music stopped, and in 2009 the building was demolished after the land was compulsorily purchased to make way for London’s new Crossrail train service.
It is a loss for London, but will live on in history. And in Let’s Misbehave.