Victorian London - Directories - Dickens's Dictionary of London, by Charles Dickens, Jr., 1879 - "Criterion Theatre"

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Criterion Theatre, Regent-circus, Piccadilly. Is built-entirely underground. It is really part of the Criterion Restaurant, with which it was intended to form one establishment. The rules of the Lord Chamberlain's Office, however, forbid any communication between two places of the kind, and the doors leading from one to the other have accordingly been stopped up. The-entrance halls, however, adjoin, so that it is still possible to get from one to the other without actually going out into the rain. The house is small, but handsome, commodious, and at least as welt ventilated as any other. There is nothing whatever to suggest to the visitor in the stalls that he is considerably below the level of the sewers, which, in point of fact, are about the height of the gallery One great advantage of this mode of construction is that the way out lies in every case upstairs, which not only modifies any rush, but greatly mitigates the danger of stumbling over the trailing dresses of the ladies. In case of an alarm of fire, this could hardly fail to prove a very serious advantage. For specialty, this theatre has of late addicted itself almost exclu- sively to translations of rattling pieces of the Palais Royal school, in which it has achieved considerable success. NEAREST Railway Stations, Charing-cross (S.E. & Dist.); Omnibus Routes, Piccadilly, Regent-st, and Waterloo-pl.

Charles Dickens (Jr.), Dickens's Dictionary of London, 1879