Victorian London - Theatre and Shows - Theatres and Venues - Queen's Theatre  

ST. MARTIN'S HALL, 92 Long Acre. This handsome edifice was partially destroyed by fire in 1860, but has since been rebuilt and opened for the performance of sacred music and oratorios by Mr. Hullah.

Cruchley's London in 1865 : A Handbook for Strangers, 1865

St. Martin's Hall, Long Acre, for many years one of the largest school-rooms, and one of the least successful concert-rooms in London - everything by turns, and nothing long' - the trysting-ground, we are told, of questionable speculators in political gatherings, promenade concerts, nigger entertainments, Japanese exhibitions, and amateur performances, no longer exists. Through the plucky enterprise of a cool-headed capitalist, who ungrudgingly expended some fifty thousand pounds on acquiring the property and completing the transformation, there now stands on the old site in this eminently theatrical region, facing the leading approach to the Royal Italian Opera House, a commodious and elegant structure, where the drama will find an appropriate home, and the play-going public secure the most perfect enjoyment. The New Queen's Theatre' such is the title of this addition to our West End places of amusement - was opened last night under the management of Mr. Alfred Wigan, and looking to all the attractions which surrounded the event, it is hardly necessary to state that there was assembled on the occasion an audience fairly filling every part of the building before the curtain. Orchestra and balcony stalls were tenanted to repletion. The dress circle had not many vacant seats, while the pit and gallery, though by no means overflowing, presented in the treasury point of view what must have been considered a satisfactory appearance. Many of the ablest professors of the histrionic art were present, and literature put forward quite a phalanx of her most gifted sons to assist in bidding God speed' to Mr. Wigan at the recommencement of his managerial career in the very heart of a district identified with dramatic associations.
    It required but the most cursory glance, after entering, to feel convinced that The New Queen's Theatre' is a gem of theatrical architecture, enriched by remarkable elegance of decoration, having an auditorium so arranged that the maximum of comfort is secured for all classes of visitors, and with a capacity of accommodation rivalling that of the Princess's Theatre. There was ample evidence that the workmen had not ceased their labours many minutes before the doors were punctually thrown open at the appointed hour. Here and there unfinished patches met the eye, and more especially in the upper region of the building, where the ventilation, though aided by the height of the tiers and a thorough system of 'extracting flues,' was far from effective. These little short-comings will, however, no doubt be speedily remedied.

The Morning Advertiser, 25th October, 1867

see also A.R.Bennett in London and Londoners - click here


Opened in 1850 as St. Martin's Hall, a concert hall which was destroyed by fire in 1860. Rebuilt and opened in 1862, closing in 1867. Converted into The New Queen's Theatre in 1867, then renamed The Queen's Theatre in 1868, finally closing in 1879. [see Lost Theatres of London by Raymond Mander and Joe Mitchenson for more information]