Sixty years on, could the Rolling Stones be the first band to play at the new Brighton Hippodrome?

  • Video report by ITV Meridian's Andy Dickenson

The restoration team at the iconic Brighton Hippodrome have revealed they hope to reopen on November 22, 2024 - and they're dreaming of the Rolling Stones returning to play.

The date marks the 60th anniversary of Chuck Berry's famous farewell show for the venue - which later became a bingo hall before falling into disrepair.

The £10 million project remains at the top of the Theatres at Risk list.

Having also been used as a circus, comedy hall and ice rink, the Theatres's Trust has labelled it the UK’s most architecturally significant circus theatre – the finest surviving example of its type in the country.

The venue is heralded as an architectural treasure, its ornate designs made famous by Frank Matcham. But it has been left derelict for more than 15 years.

Previous developers have tried to turn it into a cinema, shopping complex and hotel.

"It's obviously a very complicated job and we're now at that point where we we know what has to happen, and we know how to save the building, so we're well underway with that," Simon Lambor, of construction firm Matsim Properties said.

"It would be amazing to see the Rolling Stones in here. Of course that would be a complete dream, but it's an amazing backdrop for any show."

The 125 year old venue - which has seen the likes of Laurel and Hardy, Sammy Davis Jr, The Beatles, Harry Houdini, Charlie Chaplin and Laurence Olivier all tread its boards - was left to rot after it closed in 2006.

Its grand opulence is being lovingly restored not just in Brighton but with individual pieces of plasterwork recreated at a worskshop in Keston, Kent.

"The scale of it makes it a challenge, but it's a fabulous building visually to look out on," Peter Adams from Artisan Plastercraft said.

"We really are excited to be able to restore it to its full glory, really its former glory for, and for future generations."

It remains a slow process, but piece-by-piece the Brighton Hippodrome is again beginning to take shape.

And while it may be unlikely The Stones themselves will return, local superstar DJ Fatboy Slim recently told fans he was itching to perform at the venue.

Like Houdini himself, this once degraded building thought destined for demolition, may surprise us yet.