The Strand Lyceum, London, England

The Strand Lyceum is a theater off the Strand in the West End of London, England.  The current theater was first opened on July 14, 1834, but there has been a theater of some form on the site since 1765.  As with most places in London, this site has been witness to a long and varied history.  Charles Dickens consulted on his plays here and Bram Stoker worked at the theater as a business manager in the late 19th century.  It remained a theater until 1951, when it was converted into a ballroom.  It was in this ballroom that top pop bands like Led Zeppelin and The Who performed in the ’60s and ’70s.  The Grateful Dead ended their Europe ’72 tour here, playing a four night run, May 23-26.  The performances are legendary and also significant in Grateful Dead history, as the May 26th concert would mark the last time that Pigpen, and the original Grateful Dead, would truly perform together. The venue was re-reincarnated as a large theater once again in 1996.  The first photograph is the front of theater, showing its current incarnation as the home of the Lion King ad infinitum.  The second picture shows the side of the theater, the old stage door open, awaiting the artists’ arrival.  This was a most thrilling venue to discover, as I walked through the busy London streets to find it, you can feel the vibes as you approach  the old stage door .  Standing there, being over 3,000 miles from home, you also realize how far-reaching the presence of the Grateful Dead is in the world.  So, if you find yourself in London wandering around the Strand, check out this great old theater (theatre) that has played such an important part in Grateful Dead history.


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