Hippodrome Casino

Nuggets – bite size chunks of London

The Hippodrome Casino

The Hippodrome is surmounted by a chariot pulled by a pair of horsesThe Hip­po­drome is an enter­tain­ment venue locat­ed at the cor­ner of Cran­bourn Street and Char­ing Cross Road, just off Leices­ter Square. Nowa­days its facil­i­ties are pri­mar­i­ly devot­ed to round-the-clock gam­bling but there’s also a restau­rant and an ‘inti­mate cabaret the­atre’.

The build­ing was orig­i­nal­ly the Lon­don Hip­po­drome, built by Frank Matcham for Edward Moss in 1900 as a cir­cus vari­ety the­atre, with a 100,000 gal­lon tank in which ele­phants, polar bears and sea lions would swim.

Works in 1909 enlarged the stage and advanced the prosce­ni­um arch to bet­ter suit con­ven­tion­al vari­ety the­atre and revue shows.

From 1958 to 1982 the Hip­po­drome was the Talk of the Town, a din­ner-dance venue. In its hey­day the Talk of the Town attract­ed all the lead­ing stars, includ­ing Frank Sina­tra, Sam­my Davis Jr, Eartha Kitt and Tom Jones. Judy Garland’s five-week come­back engage­ment in 1968–9 broke box office records.

Sub­se­quent­ly the Hip­po­drome rein­vent­ed itself sev­er­al times, includ­ing as a night­club and in 2008–9 as a cir­cus venue for bur­lesque cabaret La Clique, before adopt­ing its present incar­na­tion as a casi­no.