The London Coliseum (also known as the Coliseum Theatre) is a theatre in St. Martin's Lane, Westminster, built as one of London's largest and most luxurious "family" variety theatres. Opened on 24 December 1904 as the London Coliseum Theatre of Varieties, it was designed by the theatrical architect Frank Matcham for the impresario Oswald Stoll. Their ambition was to build the largest and finest music hall, described as the "people's palace of entertainment" of its age. At the time of construction, the Coliseum was the only theatre in Europe to provide lifts for taking patrons to the upper levels of the house, and was the first theatre in England to have a triple revolve installed on its stage. The theatre has 2,359 seats making it the largest theatre in London. After being used for variety shows, musical comedies, and stage plays for many years, then as a cinema screening films in the Cinerama format between 1961 and 1968, the Sadler's Wells Opera Company moved into the building in 1968. The Sadler's Wells company changed its name to the English National Opera in 1974 and today it is used primarily for opera as well as being the London home of the English National Ballet.
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