'I'd love to play here' - DJ Fatboy Slim checks on the progress of iconic Brighton Hippodrome

  • Watch Andy Dickenson's video report

Dramatic progress in the restoration of one of the region's most historic theatres has been shown off today in Brighton.

Opened in 1901, the Brighton Hippodrome once played host to Laurel and Hardy, the Beatles and Houdini.

But left to rot for decades, its future now hangs on the council signing-off on the modern venue it could become.

Norman Cook aka DJ Fatboy Slim was among those visiting the iconic venue designed by noted architect Frank Matcham.

  • Norman Cook - "It's fabulous. It's a triumph that it's still here."

A Grade II* listed building, the Brighton Hippodrome has been an ice rink, circus and bingo hall as well as a theatre performed in by the likes of Laurence Olivier and Charlie Chaplin.

In 1964 Chuck Berry, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles all played at the music hall within weeks of each other.

Now married for 60 years, Doug and Alison Davis were among those who saw The Fab Four that October.

  • Doug and Alison Davis - "You couldn't hear the music for the girls screaming"

After spending more than £5 million, further restoration now waits on the venue getting planning approval by Brighton and Hove City Council.

"We've had to completely overhaul the ceiling. We'll move on to the rest of the building once we've got that consent," Simon Lambor, Director of Matsim Properties said.

"It's a modern-day musical hall. We're going back to the heyday of the building. It's hosted some of the biggest acts on the planet and we want to bring that back."

The developers hope the venue can reopen in time for the Brighton Festival in May, 2025.

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