The Theatres Trust

Cripplegate Theatre

  • Theatre ID
  • Built / Converted
  • Dates of use
    • 1897: until post-1945.
  • Current state
    Fragmental remains
  • Current use
  • Address
    Cripplegate Institute, 1 Golden Lane, City of London, London, EC1, England


The Cripplegate Institute opened in November 1896. It was built for an ancient charity, the Cripplegate Foundation, created 'for the benefit of the poor of Cripplegate Parish'. The large hall of the Institute was licensed for stage plays from 1897, providing a theatre for mainly amateur dramatic and operatic societies. The theatre was rebuilt in 1932, reopening on 29 September in that year. Fairly plain, simply panelled treatment of auditorium; proscenium in coved frame; shallow orchestra pit; single balcony with slightly curved front, spanning from side to side. The Arts Educational School took a lease on the theatre from 1969 until its move to Chiswick in 1986. The Institute had vacated their 1896 building by 1987 and it was reconstructed as offices, destroying most of the old interiors. The original foyer, a rather splendid late 19th/Edwardian display of marble, mosaic, and gilding, has survived at ground floor level behind the much altered facade of Golden Lane House. The staircase going up to the first floor, with its marble balustrading, is also intact.

Hide further details

  • Other names
    Golden Lane Theatre
  • Events
    • 1896 Design/Construction:
      • Sidney R J Smith - Architect
    • 1897 Use: until post-1945.
    • 1932 Alteration: theatre rebuilt within the Institute buildings.
      • Lt Col Frederick S Hammond - Architect
    • 1969 Owner/Management: Arts Educational School, lessee
    • 1987 Demolition: Institute reconstructed as commercial offices in 1992.
      • Ergon Design Group - Architect
  • Listings
    • Grade Not listed

Of the period

Façade of the Little Theatre, Blackwood, 1996
Blackwood Little Theatre

Have you seen?

Auditorium at the Shanklin Theatre, Isle of Wight, 2014
Shanklin Theatre

Protecting theatres for everyone