British Pathé had front-row seats at all of yesterday’s West End shows.

When it comes to the history of the West End there’s one site that is a head and shoulders above the rest,, just Google ‘West End History’ and up the site will pop. We are thrilled, therefore, that Matthew Lloyd, the great-great Grandson of Arthur Lloyd, is now featuring some great British Pathé footage on his site, offering a unique insight into the history of some of the world’s most famous and longest running theatre establishments.

The West End collection in the British Pathé archive is a comprehensive expose of London’s notorious theatre land. With glorious footage that features an array of stars, from Ginger Rogers to Alan Bennett. There are Royal clips of various members of the Royal Family, including the King and Queen at Drury Lane. There is a video of the Queen laying the foundation stone at the National Theatre, and other old footage of the NT. There are Southbank chorus girls, old preview reels, a 1931 play where a car is driven onto the stage. And then behind-the-scenes celebrity gems – Noel Coward’s 70th birthday party on video, which he celebrated with Laurence Olivier and Frankie Howard. Our favourite is an old reel of the Prima ballerinas at “His Majesty’s Theatre”.

Click here to watch over 50 brilliant archive videos of London’s famous West End theatres here in the British Pathé Film Archive

Author: British Pathé

British Pathé holds the world's finest newsreel collection. We also represent the Reuters historical collection. All 220K films are viewable on our website.

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