The Hippodrome is a nightclub on the corner of Charing Cross Road and Leicester Square in London. The name was in fact used for many different theatres and music halls, of which the London Hippodrome is one of only a few survivors. The name derived from the fact that animal acts were originally part of the show.
The London Hippodrome was built in 1900 by Frank Matcham for Edward Moss as a hippodrome for circus and variety performances, including large water tank for aquatic spectacles. It was reconstructed by Matcham as a music-hall and variety theatre with c. 1340 seats in 1909 and it was here that Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake was first danced in England by the Russian Ballet in 1910.
Its reputation was for revue and musical comedy, among them Mr Cinders (1929) and Ivor Novello's Perchance to Dream (1938); and from 1949 to 1951 it became the London equivalent of the Folies Bergères. In 1958 the original interior was demolished and the London Hippodrome was converted into the cabaret restaurant, "Talk of the Town" - until this closed in 1982. Renovated yet again, the building was reopened as the current nightclub.
It was revealed on 3 October 2005 that the club has lost its drinks licence, and would no longer be able to serve alcohol. The future of the club is now in doubt.