Sunday, November 11, 2007

Rivoli Ballroom

A sumptuous photo-shoot in yesterday's Guardian magazine shot in The Rivoli Ballroom in Brockley. Photos like these are a reminder of why it would be a tragedy if this place closed. The building itself is nothing special from the outside (presumably why it's not listed) but the red velvet interior is unique, hence its use in various videos and films - as well as for its primary purpose of dancing. The famous Club Montepulciano nights of the 1990s are long gone, but there are regular jive nights there and more.

Not quite sure of what's happening with the Rivoli right now - Brockley Central broke the news that it was for sale for a cool £10 million. However the Estate Agent entry now says that its not on the market. Most worrying on the latter is the reference to it not only as a ballroom but as 'a plot of land ...best described as oblong and measures 15,000 sq ft in size'. The prospect of the maple dance floor being torn out to make way for flats makes the heart sink.

5 comments:

StuPC said...

It's OK, I'm sure they'd be *luxury* flats...

dub said...

Hi

I played a gig there last night (Lewisham Council Xmas Party, of all things) and got talking to the manager. The £10 million is right, but the owner, who's apparently gravely ill, is being very very strict about selling it. Basically, anyone who isn't going to keep it exactly as it is, and use it for the same things, isn't allowed to buy it. Which is an admirable stance but may actually prove more damaging to the venue's future in the long run.
Was an absolute pleasure to play there though

Transpontine said...

Well if I had £10m to spare... I did DJ there once myself, highlight of my very limited career.

Spincat said...

Word is out on brockley Central that English Heritage have now listed the building

lesleysharvell said...

wonderfull to see it saved and to see len there, have danced on the wonderfull floor many times, the best in he country - hope are new young dancers will be encouraged to start there - its a very friendly place! every dancer loves to help a new one learn something they love!!!