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Coronet applies for listed status to stave off demolition

Campaigners have applied for the Coronet in Elephant and Castle, south-east London, to become a listed building in the latest efforts to secure the venue’s future.

The Theatres Trust has applied to English Heritage for the building, built in 1879, to become grade II-listed. This would give it extra protection, as a listed building consent application would have to be approved before it could be demolished or altered.

The Coronet remains under threat from the wider regeneration of the Elephant and Castle area, and a petition to save it was launched earlier this year [1] after the building’s landlord, Delancey, refused to guarantee what would happen when the lease expires in November 2015.

Ross Anthony, planning adviser at the Theatres Trust, said the trust had written to English Heritage requesting that the Coronet be listed grade II because of its “historically significant art deco interior”.

He added: “The Coronet is at real risk of demolition as part of the redevelopment of the Elephant and Castle. Adding the Coronet on to English Heritage’s National Heritage List will ensure its architectural and historic value is recognised. While the Coronet remains unlisted it could be demolished without this further protection.”

The theatre was remodelled into its current format in 1932 by renowned cinema and theatre architect WR Glen, and is one of the earliest examples of his designs for Associated British Cinemas.

Charlie Chaplin is said to have performed at the Coronet as a child, and it is known for hosting large music acts.

The venue, which employs more than 100 staff and attracts a quarter of a million visitors each year, has said it has earmarked £2 million for improvements, and plans to bring events such as BBC Radio recordings there. However, its management said it was unable to make concrete plans without assurances about the building’s future.

Consultation for the application has now closed and a decision is expected in the coming months.