The shareholders of Louis I Michaels Limited (LIM), today announced the sale of the Group, which holds the lease for the prestigious Grade I listed, Theatre Royal Haymarket (TRH), situated in the heart of London’s West End. This sale represents the first time a significant West End theatre has been on the market since 2014.
First established in the eighteenth century, the TRH is the third oldest London playhouse still in use and is one of only three Grade I listed theatres in London. The sale of the Group will be managed by Kingston Smith Corporate Finance Limited, part of Kingston Smith LLP, one of the UK’s leading accountancy firms.
The TRH has provided the backdrop for the most lauded playwrights, directors and actors of generations past and present. The theatre has staged such critically acclaimed productions as One Man, Two Guvnors, The Elephant Man, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Waiting for Godot. Award-winning actors including Dame Judi Dench, Dame Maggie Smith, Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Patrick Stewart, Simon Callow, Rex Harrison, Lauren Bacall, Damian Lewis and Bradley Cooper have all graced the TRH’s stage.
Grand Old Dame
Steeped in a rich history, the TRH dates back to 1720 when the original building was located slightly further north on Suffolk Street. The building has been at its current location since 1821, when celebrated British architect John Nash undertook an extravagant renovation to remodel the exterior of the building. Since its interior’s Louis XVI-style redesign by architect Sir Stanley Peach in 1904, the theatre has been carefully maintained to be in keeping with the period. The 893-seater auditorium is furnished in intense blue and 24-carat gold leaf, bringing an opulent feel to the theatre.
Three generations of a single family have owned and managed the TRH since the early 1970s when the lease was first acquired by Louis I Michaels and his partner Enid Chanelle. Today Enid’s daughter, Valerie Chanelle and her children hold a controlling interest in Louis I Michaels Limited. Arnold Crook was appointed as Chairman of Louis I Michaels Limited in 1981.
Arnold Crook, Chairman of Louis I Michaels Limited, says: “Our ‘Grand Old Dame’ has been a platform for entertainment, a place for laughter, tears and romance within the City of London for nearly 300 years. In my role as Chairman of Louis I. Michaels Ltd and as custodian of the Theatre Royal Haymarket since 1981, it has been my life’s pride. The Theatre Royal Haymarket is historically and architecturally one of the most beautiful theatres in the world, and although it is very sad for me to say goodbye, it is now time to hand over the reins to the next generation of dream-makers.”
The lease for the building is currently held by LIM’s subsidiary, Theatre Royal Haymarket Limited (“TRHL”), with the freehold of the theatre owned by the Crown Estate. TRHL last renewed its lease in July 1987 for a period of 99 years. The lease therefore currently has some 68 years remaining.