Developers of the Warehouse Theatre in Croydon have demolished the disused venue after failing to secure a viable business plan that would see it reopen.
Joint site owners, Stanhope and Schroders, had originally planned for the theatre to continue at its current location – which was within their nine-acre town centre regeneration project – or to provide a replacement.
However, earlier this year they agreed to hand over more than £3 million earmarked for this provision to the local council after failing to receive a viable business plan for its reopening.
Croydon Council is obliged to use the money, known as Section 106 funds, for cultural purposes. This type of financial investment would normally be invested in an existing or new building, which could include a theatre or arts space.
The Warehouse Theatre has been closed since May 2012, when the Warehouse Theatre Company was placed into administration by its board. This followed the removal of local authority funding to the organisation.
The building continued to operate as a bar until November of the same year, when the lease expired.
The 35-year old venue had previously hosted big comedy names including Eddie Izzard, Ben Elton and Lenny Henry at the start of their careers.
It is understood that the developers plan to begin building work on the first phase of new homes and offices by the end of the year.
The developers declined to comment about the demolition of the venue.