A London property investor has outlined plans to bring hospitality and entertainment brands, including potentially the world-famous Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group (CDS), to the former Saville Theatre that once hosted live performances by The Who and Chuck Berry.
Since 1930, the 110,000 sq ft Grade II listed “the Saville” on Shaftesbury Avenue was known for live music before being converted to a cinema in its later years, most recently used by Odeon.
Yoo Capital, which has invested over £2.5 billion into central London since its launch in 2010 and bought the site in 2021, is known for mixed-use developments. Latest proposals are for a major revamp working with architects SPPARC.
Operators have been lined up to help return the West End site to to a live performance venue with dining and accommodation, subject to planning approval. They include boutique hotel company Citizen M and Incipio Group, the team behind the Pergola bars.
Yoo Capital added that Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group is exploring the venue as its first permanent home in the UK. Eric Grilly, president of resident and affiliate show divisions at the entertainment specialist known for acrobatic performances, said: “We see a unique opportunity to bring back live entertainment to a beloved venue with fresh content and new ideas.”
CDS added: “This new project would complement Cirque du Soleil’s annual Royal Albert Hall residency and offer theatre-goers a more intimate space to enjoy incredible performances all year round.”
Lloyd Lee, managing partner at Yoo Capital, said: “From its origins as a live performance venue that saw everything from plays, musicals and live concerts by The Bee Gees, Elton John, and the Beatles, to its closure in 1970 and conversion to a cinema, the Saville remains an iconic venue in the heart of London. Yoo Capital is thrilled to have the opportunity to restore the theatre’s original purpose as a live performance space.”
Trevor Morriss, principal architect at SPPARC said: “Having not operated as a theatre for over 50 years, SPPARC is privileged to design a theatre space thatwill rekindle the free-spirited creativity that made it a special venue for a great many globally celebratedperformers.”
Yoo Capital will look to submit plans later this year following a public consultation.