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Old Vic theatre, The Cut, Lambeth, London: the foyer with an engraved mirror depicting the 'Looking Glass Curtain'

RIBA Ref No RIBA118003
Architect/DesignerCabanel, Rudolphe, junior (1763-1839)
Robinson, Jethro Thomas (d. 1878)
Sonrel, Pierre (1903-1984)
Renton Howard Wood Levin Partnership
Rowntree, Douglas (1888-1966)
Artist/PhotographerCharles, Martin (1940-2012)
CountryUK: England
Subject Date1819
Image Date1983
Library ReferenceMC A 071183
Colour InfoBlack and white
CreditMartin Charles / RIBA Collections
SubjectTheatres ; Furniture ; Mirrors ; Restoration
NOTES: Originally designed by the German architect and engineer Rudolphe Cabanel the theatre opened as the Royal Coburg in 1819. In 1833 it was renamed the Royal Victoria Hall in honour of the young Princess Victoria. Since then it has undergone many alterations internally and externally, including a new auditorium in 1871 by Jethro Thomas Robinson. In 1941 it was severely damaged by bombing and was restored by Douglas Rowntree and Pierre Sonrel, reopening in 1950. In 1982 the architects Renton Howard Wood Levin were appointed to carry out a major refurbishment and restoration. This resulted in the exterior being reconstructed (apart from the entrance canopy) to match the 1819 original, while the auditorium was refurbished to Robinson's 1871 scheme. The Looking Glass Curtain was a drop curtain made of a series of glass panels introduced into the theatre in 1820 and later dismantled in 1824.

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