England, United Kingdom
|Production||Radio broadcasts, rock gigs|
The Paris Theatre (also known as the Paris Studios) was a former cinema located at 12 Lower Regent Street in central London that 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, comedy such as Hi Gang!, Dad's Army and Don't Stop Now - It's Fundation 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, Dr. Feelgood, Fleetwood Mac, Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Joni Mitchell, Queen, Pink Floyd, Nazareth, Barclay James Harvest, Rod Stewart, Simple Minds, The Screaming Blue Messiahs, The Pretenders 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. It was also the London home of the BBC's Radio 1 Club in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
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.