Paris Theatre

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This article is about the theatre in London. For other uses, see Paris Theater (disambiguation).
Paris Theatre
Address London
England, United Kingdom
Owner BBC
Production Radio broadcasts, rock gigs
Opened 1960s
Closed 1995
Years active 1960s–1995

Paris Theatre (also known as Paris Studios) was a former cinema located at 12 Lower Regent Street, just off Oxford Street in Central 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.[1]

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.[2] Shows recorded there included panel game shows such as I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue,[3] comedy such as Dad's Army and Don't Stop Now - It's Fundation and non-audience shows such as The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.[4]

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,[5] 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, Nazareth, 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.[1] It was also the London home of the BBC's Radio 1 Club in the late 60's and early 70's.

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.[1]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Sumner, James (February 1999). "A history of contemporary radio comedy". radiohaha. Retrieved 2008-04-12. 
  2. ^ Dave Lewis, Led Zeppelin: The 'Tight But Loose' Files, 14
  3. ^ I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue history, bbc.co.uk
  4. ^ www.douglasadams.com
  5. ^ Image of exterior at The Beatles at the BBC

Coordinates: 51°30′30″N 0°08′00″W / 51.5084°N 0.1334°W / 51.5084; -0.1334