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GES095 - Hammersmith Apollo Theatre

August 2010

The building was designed by Robert Cromie in the Art Deco style and opened in 1932 as a The Gaumont Palace Cinema. It would later become the Hammersmith Odeon in 1962. It was during it's life as the Odeon that it would become host to some of the greats in music. The Beatles played 38 shows over 21 nights, Ziggy Stardust was died here, and Bowie's final show as Ziggy can be seen on the DVD of the concert. Queen played here, as did The Boss (Brucie Springsteen), Bob Marley, KISS during the 70's. Complete legend and music superhero Neil Young played here a number of times in the 70s. Radiohead played here in the 00's. I personally have seen Funkadelic and Neil Young (twice on the same tour) here, as well as watch England beat Slovakia during the recent dismal world cup campaign. In the 1990s and 00's, it's been sponsored numerous times, and is currently the HMV A Theatre. Photo by Bing Maps

Another local explore for me, gladly I didn't have to get up too early and walked up the road. As I had a quick final check around at my access point, a minibus dumped a load of people 10m away from me. I sat and waited for them to piss off, when a guy looking for money tried his luck with them. He then sat down on a low post near me. Jeez. The sky was starting to get lighter limiting long exposure time. Finally after half an hour and walking around an excavation site at a nearby church, I had a clear gap to hop up onto the scaff. It was only a few layers, and I was quickly on the roof. Looking East at the sunrise. The building just after the roof is the local British Transport Police building.

I also caught the sunrise reds in the mirrored office block looking North.

One of the many things I like about rooftopping, is the ramshackle nature some of them have, and the oddities one can find on them. Like this weird greenhouse like structure.

The actual building itself is quite interesting, with lots of side sections popping out, and stairs going all over the place.

The scaffolding at the front of the theatre, actually goes higher than the main roof, and you can almost touch the Westway. Here looking across the theatre roof.

Looking across to St. Paul's Church, the first explore I ever did with an SLR camera, and a previous Downfallen explore. Between sits the Westway (A4).

At the front of the building on the main roof, sits a little quadrangle, with an assortment of entrances and buildings.

On carefully dropping down, minding out for the plastic gutter, I had a look through the windows. None really contained anything. Some of the doors were open, some were locked. Through one I ended up beneath the greenhouse like structure on the roof.

Another door, and a corridor lead around and about. It had a fusebox for the main Ap0llo Theatre lights.

Another door lead down some stairs to a storage room. Some of the original seats and supports lay here, from when it was a Gaumont Palace Cinema.

Unfortunately, down this hall the only exit was a fire exit, and I wasn't sure if it was alarmed. So I went back to the quadrangle, and tried yet another door. This one led to a room with peely paint and a knackered shower stall. It also had a comfy chair. Aaaaahhh!

Not wanting to risk triggering a fire alarm, I climbed out a convenient window, and walked about until I was back on the scaff. A shot of one of the art deco blocks either end of the building.

And then the bust that sits above the main entrance to the theatre, and plastic sign behind.

A quick drop down, around the corner and a walk home to some tasty muesli and a few more hours kip. Rock 'n Roll lifestyle me!



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