England, United Kingdom
|Production||Radio broadcasts, rock gigs|
The Paris Theatre (also known as Paris Studios) was a former cinema located in Lower Regent Street, London, which was converted into a theatre by the BBC for radio broadcasts. It was used for several decades by the BBC as the main venue for comedy programmes requiring an audience broadcast on BBC Radios 2 and 4.
The theatre had a capacity of under 400 and a stage roughly one foot off the ground, giving it an intimate feeling required for radio comedy audiences. Shows recorded there included panel game shows such as I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, sitcoms such as Dad's Army and non-audience shows such as The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
In addition to comedy, the BBC recorded performances by musical artists at the Paris Theatre including acts such as T. Rex, AC/DC, The Beatles, David Bowie, Family, Streetwalkers, Jeff Beck, Deep Purple, Slade, Hawkwind, Status Quo, Sad Café (band), Sad Cafe, Dr. Feelgood, Fleetwood Mac, Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Joni Mitchell, Queen, Pink Floyd, Rod Stewart, Simple Minds, The Screaming Blue Messiahs and The Wailers. Some of these performances were recorded as part of the In Concert and Sounds of the Seventies series, in front of live studio audiences and several of these acts have subsequently released tapes of sessions recorded at the studios, such as Led Zeppelin's BBC Sessions album.
The Paris Theatre was closed in 1995, being replaced by the purpose-built BBC Radio Theatre in Broadcasting House. The demise of the Paris Theatre was marked with a commemorative concert and broadcast of the last show ever to be recorded at the theatre, namely the final show in series two of The Skivers.