London’s Hidden Theatre Treasure

The building itself is tucked behind high security fencing around the back of Olympia and looks like it was once a rambling Victorian mental hospital.

Access is through full-height turn-styles which are electronically operated once your name has been verified on the intercom. I kid you not. They must have some valuable stuff in there somewhere.

Reception is access by fire-escape-style external metal steps and once you've signed in and been given a security pass you are escorted to the reading room through a card activated turn style, and two card activated doors down a long, silent corridor. Once at the equally quiet reading room you have to deposit your bag in a locker and only pencils are allowed.


Rev Stan passes through the endless security of the V&A's little-known theatrical archive.

How many people outside academia even know that this exists?

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  1. James R Grinter

    Didn’t the V&A take back the Theatre Museum (late of Covent Garden) collection but they never seemed to really want it, or want to have to deal with it.


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