King’s Theatre, Hammersmith

During the 1956/57 refurbishment of Television Theatre, production moved to the  King’s Theatre, Hammersmith.



This theatre was another old music hall that had been built in 1902 and had an original capacity of around 1,500.  The theatre was to be found in Hammersmith Road, on the corner with Rowan Road, W14.  The BBC took it over in 1954 and it was put on the market by them in 1958, selling it the following year.

Mike Jones kindly informed me that a competition that sounds very much like a cross between the Eurovision Song Contest and The X-Factor took place in 1956.  It had the catchy title of Festival of British Popular Songs and the final was transmitted from here on 22nd October.  The winning song was ‘Everybody Falls in Love With Someone’ and was sung by Dennis Lotis – a useful fact for the next pub quiz?  Shirley Abicaire came second – no doubt sporting her zither.

A couple of other shows made here were  Great Scott it’s Maynard  starring Terry Scott and Bill Maynard and at least one edition of  This Is Your Life in December 1956.

The theatre was demolished in 1963.


king's theatre crew photo 1956 450p
The cast and crew of A Festival of Popular British Songs – made in the King’s Theatre on October 22nd 1956.  Not exactly the Brits is it?  The Daily Mail ran an article the following day where they printed this photo and expressed outrage at the number of people involved in making what to them was a very ordinary programme and how much it had cost. (Some things never change.)  Apparently, the average cost of making a programme at that time was £2,675 per hour.  No wonder the Mail was furious!
photo thanks to Maurice Fleischer

kings theatre hammersmith

Note the similar layout of camera positions at the Kings Theatre to Television Theatre. The programme shown here is unknown. Any ideas?