Dominon Auditorium (Circle) 1 - Credit Mark Sykes.

West End theatre ‘raises curtain on bright future’ with multi-million-pound investment

An historic theatre in London’s West End has secured its future for generations to come after buying the freehold from its landlord, fulfilling a key ambition for the landmark.

The ‘iconic’ Dominion Theatre on Tottenham Court Road opened in 1929 and has hosted some of London’s most celebrated productions, including The Judy Garland Show, The Sound of Music and We Will Rock You. It’s now preparing to host London’s newest musical, The Devil Wears Prada, with music written by Elton John.  

More than 60,000 people visit to see the bright lights of the Dominion each month, and the beloved theatre’s set-piece shows this year will be the short-term runs of the King and I and Sister Act, before it welcomes The Devil Wears Prada. The Dominion also hosts events and concerts, widening the Dominion’s programme and in turn welcoming new visitors.  

The theatre is owned and operated by the Nederlander Theatres, the family business that is synonymous with New York’s Broadway. It also owns and operates the Aldwych Theatre and co-owns the Adelphi Theatre with LW Theatres in London. 

The purchase of the freehold, supported with a multi-million-pound loan from Lloyds Bank, is the culmination of a decades-long effort by Nederlander to invest in the Dominion and restore the Grade-II theatre to its “original art deco glory”.

Nederlander Theatres has transformed the 2,100-seat theatre’s backstage area, creating a modular stage and introducing a new flying system that can hold over 40 tonnes of stage props and settings. This means that The Dominion can host larger and grander productions than ever before.   

Jerry Katzman, CEO at the Dominion Theatre, commented: “Our landlords were very understanding and have supported our efforts to invest in the Dominion, but owning it outright means we can continue to invest and operate in the way that will create the very best shows and experiences for our visitors.

“The Nederlander family has been in the theatre business continuously since 1912. It’s their passion to keep theatres in the industry and restore them to their iconic magnificent grandeur. We now have the base to press on with that ambition, and the Dominion’s ready to deliver unmissable shows for generations to come.” 

Delcan Mulcahy, technology, media, and telecoms sector head – mid-corporate at Lloyds Bank, added: “London’s West End is a huge draw for culture vultures from not just the UK, but across the whole world. The Dominion is at the heart of that, and the purchase helps protect a vital cultural asset in London. 

“The team behind the theatre have a clear vision and owning the freehold has been a major strategic objective for decades. We’re proud to have helped the Dominion achieve that, and we remain by the side of creative businesses across London to dream big, be ambitious and deliver show-stopping growth.”

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