Plans have been submitted to demolish an “irreplaceable” theatre in north London, which once provided a home for performers including Steven Berkoff and Roger Moore.
The move has been met with strong objection from the Theatres Trust, which called the venue a rare surviving example of repertory theatre design from the inter-war period.
Located in Palmers Green, the 406-capacity Intimate Theatre was home to the John Clements repertory theatre company until the late 1980s.
It has recently been used by amateur theatre groups and doubles up as a parish hall for the venue’s owners, St Monica’s Church.
However, the church has now officially submitted a planning application to Enfield Council to demolish the existing building and replace it with a new church hall and flats. There is no theatre provision included in the plans.
When it was revealed in September 2018 that St Monica’s Church intended to demolish the theatre, figures including Berkoff, actor and presenter Nicholas Parsons and producer Johnny Mans backed calls to save the venue and residents started a petition, which now has nearly 5,000 signatures.
Theatres Trust national planning adviser Tom Clarke said: “We strongly object to the proposal to demolish the Intimate Theatre for the same reasons we added it to our Theatres at Risk Register earlier this year – it is a unique theatre with a rich cultural heritage and architectural significance, and there is evidently strong community demand for a theatre in this area.
“The council itself has identified a shortage in provision and the local groups that had been using the Intimate don’t have a theatre to perform in.
“At the very least we would want a suitable replacement to be provided, but we feel that the Intimate Theatre itself is worth saving.”
Clarke said it had played a “significant role” in the early careers of stars including David Bowie, Richard Attenborough and Moore.
He added: “This kind of heritage is irreplaceable and deserves to be protected for future generations.”
St Monica’s Church has been contacted for comment.