Shoreditch High Street
Shoreditch High Street is the old main street of Shoreditch, London. It is part of the A10 road and connects Norton Folgate to the south with Kingsland Road to the north. It constitutes a segment of the Roman Ermine Street, which ran directly north from London to Lincoln and York. The parish church of St Leonard's, Shoreditch is situated at the north-east end of the road at the crossroads where it meets with Hackney Road. This part of the road is wholly within the London Borough of Hackney; below Boundary Street, the eastern side lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The high street enters the City of London at Norton Folgate.
In the past, Shoreditch High Street boasted both a prestigious theatre and a music hall, though these are now long gone, with no trace of their previous existence apparent.
The National Standard Theatre at 2/3/4 Shoreditch High Street opened in 1837. By the late 19th century this was one of the largest theatres in London. In 1926 it was converted into a cinema called the New Olympia Picturedrome. The building was demolished in 1940. Sims Reeves, Mrs Marriott and James Anderson all performed here; as well as programmes of classical opera and even Shakespeare, with such luminaries as Henry Irving.
The Shoreditch Empire aka the London Music Hall, which opened in 1856 was situated at 95-99 Shoreditch High Street. It lasted longer than most East End halls but finally closed in 1935.
Traversing the inner city area which is modern day Shoreditch the road is lined with (sometimes derelict) commercial premises. To the east is the Boundary Estate, formerly the infamous "Jago" of Arthur Morrison's 1896 novel A Child of the Jago. Continuing the tradition of low-life of particular note, today, is the concentration of striptease pubs along the road, though some recent trendy bars which cater to the affluent residents of nearby Hoxton indicate that 'regeneration' may prevail over degeneration.
- Clifton, L. (2002) Baby Oil and Ice: Striptease in East London. The Do-Not Press Limited: London.