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Paris Theatre

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Paris Theatre
Paris Studios
Paris Theatre
Paris Theatre
Location within Central London
Former namesParis Cinema (1939–1940)
Address12 Lower Regent Street
LocationLondon, England
Coordinates51°30′30″N 0°08′00″W / 51.5084°N 0.1334°W / 51.5084; -0.1334Coordinates: 51°30′30″N 0°08′00″W / 51.5084°N 0.1334°W / 51.5084; -0.1334
OwnerBBC
TypeRadio studio
Capacity< 400
Current useFitness club
ProductionRadio comedy, Concerts
Construction
OpenedApril 1939 (1939-04)
Renovated1946
Closed1995 (1995)
Years active1946–1995
ArchitectRobert Cromie

The Paris Theatre (also known as the Paris Studios) was originally a cinema located at 12 Lower Regent Street in central London which was converted into a studio by the BBC for radio broadcasts requiring an audience. It was used for several decades by the BBC as the main venue for comedy programmes broadcast on BBC Radios 2 and 4.[1]

The venue had a capacity of under 400 and a stage roughly twelve inches from the floor, giving it an intimate feeling helpful for radio comedy with an audience.[2] Shows recorded there included panel game shows such as I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue,[3] comedy such as Hi Gang!, Dad's Army, The Goon Show,[4] Don't Stop Now - It's Fundation and non-audience shows such as The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.[5]

In addition to comedy, the BBC recorded many of the dramatical broadcasts by Raymond Raikes as well as by musical artists including acts such as T. Rex, David Bowie, AC/DC, Badfinger,[6] the Beatles,[7] David Bowie, Leonard Cohen 1968, Shakin' Stevens, Family, Streetwalkers, Jeff Beck, Deep Purple, Slade, Hawkwind, Status Quo, Sad Café, Dr. Feelgood, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Fleetwood Mac, Genesis, Led Zeppelin, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Queen, Pink Floyd, Nazareth, Barclay James Harvest, Rod Stewart, Simple Minds, the Screaming Blue Messiahs, Ultravox, the Pretenders and the Wailers. Some of these performances were recorded in front of live studio audiences as part of the In Concert and Sounds of the Seventies series, and several of these acts have subsequently released tapes of sessions recorded at the studio, such as Led Zeppelin's BBC Sessions album.[1] It was also the London home of the BBC's Radio 1 Club in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The Paris Theatre closed in 1995, being replaced by the BBC Radio Theatre in Broadcasting House. The closure was marked with a commemorative concert and broadcast of the last show ever to be recorded at the theatre, namely the final show in series two of The Skivers.[1][8]

David Bowie recorded one of his final live recordings there in 2000 deemed to be one of his finest BBC Bowie 2000.

References

  1. ^ a b c Sumner, James (February 1999). "A history of contemporary radio comedy". Radiohaha. Retrieved 12 April 2008.
  2. ^ Dave Lewis, Led Zeppelin: The 'Tight But Loose' Files, 14
  3. ^ I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue history, Bbc.co.uk
  4. ^ Milligan, Spike (1974). The Goon Show Scripts. Australia: Sphere Books. ISBN 0 7221 6079 8.
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ Badfinger-BBC In Concert, YouTube
  7. ^ Image of exterior at The Beatles at the BBC
  8. ^ "Spike Milligan". The Skivers. Series 2. Episode 5. 2 March 1995. Event occurs at 45 seconds. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 14 May 2020. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the last ever Radio 4 show to be recorded at the Paris Studio.
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