- Trocadero (London)
:"For the origin of the term Trocadero, and other uses of the word, see
The Trocadero is a building in
Shaftesbury Avenue, Londonoriginally built as a restaurant but most recently used as an exhibition and entertainment space.
Londonthe Trocadero Restaurant of J. Lyons and Co.opened in 1896at a site on Shaftesbury Avenue, near the theatres of the West End, which had been formerly occupied by the notorious Argyll Rooms, where wealthy men hired prostitutes. The stylish connotations of the name "Trocadero" derive from the Battle of Trocaderoin southern Spain, a citadel held by liberal Spanish forces that was taken by the French troops sent by Charles X, in 1823. The battle was commemorated in the Place du Trocadéro, Paris, and the monumental glamor of the Parisian site has given rise to a variety of locales bearing its name. A one time maitre d'of the Trocadero was Belgian born Maurice F. Monbiot, grandfather of the journalist and environmentalist George Monbiot. His French born great-grandfather Raymond Monbiot [ The Strand Magazine, pg.62, v.104, 1942-1943 Oct-Mar] was the Trocadero's restaurant manager ["Points from Letters", pg. 8, " The Times", January 9, 1939] .
The new settings were magnificent in an Opera
Baroquestyle, and the various Trocaderos of the English-speaking world have derived their names from this original, the epitome of grand Edwardian catering. Murals on Arthurian themes decorated the grand staircase, and the Long Bar catered to gentlemen only. During the grim days of World War I, the Trocadero initiated the first "concert tea": tea was served in the Empire Hall, accompanied by a full concert programme. After the war cabaretwas a feature of the Grill Room. The Trocadero closed on 13 February 1965.
1984, the Trocadero was redeveloped as a tourist-oriented entertainment, cinema and shopping complex. It retained the external Baroque facade, but gutted the interior and added a "Guinness Book of World Records Exhibition." But tenants were limited, and the half-finished development was eventually sold to the Nick Leslauand Nigel Wrayheaded Burford Group plc.citeweb|url=http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4156/is_20020210/ai_n12574093|title=How the Westway was won by tycoon|publisher=Sunday Herald|date=2002-02-10|accessdate=2008-08-26] Nickelodeon UKused to broadcast live from there from 1994 until 1996 when they moved to Rathbone Place, and the place received a boost in the late 1990s with the addition of sponsorship from Pepsi, and Segaas an anchor tenant. The launch of " Segaworld", a large amusement arcade occurred on 7 September 1996, which included a large statue of Sonic the Hedgehog over the front entrance. Pepsi sponsored the " Pepsi MaxDrop Ride" and from 1997the "Pepsi IMAX" cinema, the first 3D IMAX cinema in the UK. It was also home to the second series of Channel 4's daily reality show " The Salon."
However, resultant visitor numbers were poor, and the Guinness Records exhibition closed in the mid-1990s and following the loss of Sega's sponsorship in
1999, Segaworld became "Funland" and was subsequently reduced in size, and the Pepsi-sponsored IMAX cinema and Drop Ride closed around the same time. Remains of old attractions can still be seen around the centre, such as a wall with a gun-barrel motif that used to house a James Bondride, while a disused escalatornow blocked off with a drinks machine was the entrance to Segaworld. In 2005the Trocadero was acquired by new owners who have plans to undertake a comprehensive regeneration of the site.As of may 2008 the trocadero sold for a reported £300 million to Billionaire Sam Sellers  brother of Billionaire Mark Sellers owner of up down court. [citeweb|url=http://www.propertyweek.com/story.asp?sectioncode=297&storycode=3113235|title=Criterion’s £100m plans for Trocadero get Westminster go-ahead|publisher=Property Week|date=2008-05-09|accessdate=2008-10-09]
The Trocadero Cinema
The 3,400-seat Trocadero Cinema in the
Elephant and Castlearea of the South Bankopened in December 1930. The cinema is no more; but its Wurlitzerorgan, the largest ever shipped to the UK, survives.
The London Trocadero in popular culture
The Magician's Nephew", part of C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia, Andrew Ketterleyis forced to treat the evil Queen Jadisto what was in his own words "an exceedingly expensive, not to say ostentatious, lunch" at the Trocadero in London. This was confirmed by his further statement that on account of her conduct there (which was disruptive to say the least) he would never be able to show his face there again, mentioning the restaurant by name.
* [http://www.londontrocadero.com London Trocadero official site]
* [http://www.trocadero.org.uk Trocadero Restaurant launch, early days and banquets]
* [http://www.arthurlloyd.co.uk/Archive/July/JulyIndex.htm History of the Trocadero with archive images]
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