The London Trocadero is an entertainment complex in Shaftesbury Avenue, London originally built as a restaurant but most recently used as an exhibition and entertainment space.

The complex incorporates a number of historic London buildings, including the London Pavilion, that have in the past hosted the Palace of Varieties, the New Private Subscription Theatre, the Royal Albion Theatre, the New Queen's Theatre, the Argyll Subscription Rooms, the Trocadero Music Hall, the Royal Trocadero Music Hall, the Eden Theatre and the Trocadero Restaurant.

The name Trocadero indirectly derives from the Battle of Trocadero in 1823, through the Palais du Trocadéro in Paris, named for the French victory.


In London the Trocadero Restaurant of J. Lyons and Co. opened in 1896 at 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 Trocadero in the Bay of Cadiz, (southern Spain), the Battle of Trocadero was particularly bloody. Spanish liberal army were into a hind of entrenchment at Cortadura de San José,(Puerto Real) which actually placed at Parque Metropolitano Marismas de Los Toruños y Pinar de La Algaida. It was 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 was the Trocadero's restaurant manager.

The new settings were magnificent in an Opera Baroque style, 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 cabaret was a feature of the Grill Room. The Trocadero closed on 13 February 1965.

In 1984, the Trocadero was redeveloped as a tourist-oriented entertainment, cinema and shopping complex. Providing 450,000 square feet (42,000 m2) of leisure space, it was the largest leisure scheme in the United Kingdom at the time; only being matched 19 years later by the similar sized Xscape development in Castleford.

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 Leslau and Nigel Wray headed Burford Group plc.Nickelodeon UK used 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 Sega as 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 Max Drop Ride and from 1997 the 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 Bond ride. The top floors were kept open until 2002, but now the disused escalator is blocked off with a drinks machine. This was the original entrance to Segaworld when Funland occupied the lower floors. In 2005 the Trocadero was acquired by new owners who have plans to undertake a comprehensive regeneration of the site.

In October 2005, the centre was used as a backdrop for the final scenes of Madonna's Hung up video

In 2009, plans were announced for the gutting of the building. The historic facade is to be retained, while a pod hotel will be constructed inside.

As of 2010, the basement section leading from the London Underground is now an official area for bboys and streetdancers to practice.

Building Activity

  • Radil Radenkov
    Radil Radenkov updated and updated 2 digital references
    about 5 years ago via
  • norton
    norton updated a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via
  • Georgi Sokolov
    Georgi Sokolov updated
    about 5 years ago via
  • shellflyer
    shellflyer updated a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via
  • updated and updated 2 digital references
    about 5 years ago via