Coronet crowns London regeneration
Tuesday, 20 May 2003
UK - The Coronet, a 2,100 capacity, three-level multi-purpose entertainment facility, opened recently in south London. The venue’s £2m refurbishment programme is one of the first in a series of regeneration projects in the vicinity of Elephant and Castle, SE1.

The building in which the Coronet is housed was built in 1872 as the Theatre Royal. Following a fire, it reopened in 1879 as the Elephant & Castle Theatre, seating over 2,000 people. It was here that Charlie Chaplin first took to the stage as a child, and, in fact, the pub next door is named after the silent movie hero. Later remodelled as a 2,315-seat cinema (1931) and modernized as an ABC cinema (1967), the venue became The Coronet in 1997 - eventually closing in 1999.

Jeremy Millins, MD of the Pure Group, realized the potential of the venue two years ago. He contacted investor and theatre producer Dominic Madden, who formed Coronet Refurbishment Ltd and subsequently acquired the venue. He then employed Pure Management and Consultancy to co-ordinate the project and run the venue - the team includes marketing and promotions manager Angela Reed, formerly of London venue Heaven, and independent club and live entertainment booker Dan Norman.

The venue’s stunning interior design is the work of letting architects/design consultants Kracka, and it has been styled to focus on two main areas: firstly as a club, live music venue, movie theatre and performance space, and secondly as a corporate event and conference facility. One of the key factors in this is the flexibility of its technical systems, with back-up from Pure Productions - a Pure Group sister company and leading UK lighting, sound and AV equipment rental house.

The Coronet’s corporate and private events are managed by Spacehire, overseen by Rosie Insley. The venue offers good corporate facilities, with the ground floor accommodating up to 1,600 guests for a party, up to 500 for theatre-style presentations and as an exhibition space, or up to 350 in a seated dinner table format. Additionally, the first floor, incorporating the VIP bar, caters perfectly for smaller events and presentations involving anything from 150 to 400 guests, depending on the final format.

The top floor leads out onto a dramatic 572-seat raked auditorium. This will feature a unique stage, flown in from the venue’s ceiling down to balcony level, where it will be locked to the sides of the building, above the proscenium arch, creating a completely new, adaptable space for conferences and presentations.


For the venue’s technical requirements, flexibility has been Pure Productions’ watchword. As well as the standard in-house sound and lighting desks and a full quota of moving lights and loudspeakers, the venue also has access to Pure’s extensive sound and light equipment rental stock if corporate clients or visiting productions require. There’s also plenty of space and facilities for visiting stage acts to bring in their own production rigs complete. An off-road load-in, complete with parking for trucks, goes straight onto stage at the rear of the venue.

An 11m x 8m box truss is installed (by Summit Steel) for the main dancefloor lighting. Fixtures in the rig include the latest automated luminaires from Italian manufacturer SGM, supplied to Pure by Lightfactor Sales. The venue features eight SGM Galileo IV scanners, 12 SGM 400 Giotto spots and eight SGM 400 washlights. The box truss also contains Par 64s, ETC Source Four profiles and 14 18" mirror balls. Dimming comes from LightProcessor Paradimes.

The Coronet’s stage lighting rig is also variable for each individual performance. At the preview party, it consisted of four SGM washlights and six SGM spots, used to great effect for the opening evening’s set. All the effects lighting in the main auditorium is controlled from an Avolites Pearl console, which will lend the required degree of flexibility and user-friendliness in what will be a consta

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