#25 A Church Hall and a Music Hall
50 stories from The Acme Archive
In the mid-1980s, Acme had two former halls among its buildings – a church hall and a music hall.
The Red Hill Street studios in Camden were acquired on a 10 year lease by Acme from Crown estates in 1984. At the time of taking out the lease, the building had been long neglected and home to pigeons for many years. Prior to conversion, in November 1984, a programme of installations was presented. The works were “Winter” by Tim Head, “History Overtakes the World – Part 1” and “History Takes over the World – Part 2” by Ron Haselden, and “Not in Bad Faith” by Stuart Brisley. A review in Performance magazine no 33 by Sotiris Kyriacou describes the performances in detail, showing a “debris littered hall” lit up by the sparkling Winter sculpture, Richard Layzell and Pamela Hiley performing Tai Chi as part of Ron Haselden’s performance and the sound experience of Brisley’s performance. Following the performance, the building was converted into 7 studios. Since the closure of the studios, the building has since been converted into housing.
Old Ford Road Studios were open briefly between 1983 and 1985. Located on a corner next to Victoria Park and the Regent’s Canal, the building was previously the Royal Victoria Music Hall, which operated out of the Royal Victoria Pub. It later operated as a theatre, then a cinema. It was converted by Acme into 12 studios in 1983 and its performance legacy was maintained by the tenancy of Station House Opera, who were included in the 1984 Open Studios and were later commissioned by Acme for a performance at the Fire Station. The studios were handed back early to Crown Estates in 1985 and subsequently demolished for housing.