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Coronet allowed to continue operating after licence review, but has cancelled certain events and increased security

The Coronet Theatre will continue operating, but with heightened security and events pulled from its schedule, following an emergency review of its licence.

Councillors on the council’s Licensing Sub-Committee reviewed the historic venue’s licence yesterday.

The review was requested by the Met Police, following a large-scale fight that happened outside its doors in the early hours of Sunday morning (July 2).

A Dogs unit and Territorial Support were deployed to guard the venue after 2am, as some 200 people, without tickets, tried to force entry into a sold-out clubbing event. A 25-year-old was injured though no arrests were made.

Lit London, who promoted the clubbing event that night, released a statement blaming the violence on “a small group of frustrated people who did not have pre-sale tickets”.

TfL photo of violence outside Coronet Theatre on July 2, 2017

The Police had asked the committee to consider suspending the licence held by Elephant Music Limited, who manage the 2,600-capacity venue. But councillors have allowed the venue to stay open, on the condition that interim measures are taken.

Three events “that are considered a risk (by the premises) and attract a specific type of person” have been cancelled with full refunds offered. They include:

  • Project X, Summer Break Edition ( July 7 2017)
  • Dancehall v Soca, Bikini vs Gym Chest Foam Party (July 22 2017)
  • PJ Lingerie Party “the UK’s biggest Lingerie and Pyjama Affair Party in London” (July 29 2017)

All other events are still scheduled to take place. But the venue has been ordered to increase its security staff for night events. The Coronet will now have a security-to-guest ratio of 50 to one, instead of the 75 to one as stipulated under its licence. Staff will also have to improve its queuing system.

During the violence on Sunday morning, the police claimed that guests had waited outside for over two hours, and some tried to break in via the railway lines and emergency exits.

They also referred to other recent disturbances at the venue. On February 26 a “large group of males” broke in, one believed to be carrying a gun. On May 13 there were reports of 100 people fighting outside the Coronet.

The police said in their evidence to the committee that fifteen reports of violent incidents have been made about events at the Coronet in 2017.

The Coronet Theatre in New Kent Road, Elephant and Castle

Minutes from yesterday’s review meeting said the Coronet’s managers told the committee they had “an excellent working relationship with the licensing authority and the police and overall, the premises were well run”.

The venue’s management “advised that it was not necessary to suspend the licence, nor was it appropriate and proportionate”.

The managers of the Coronet were approached for comment but they did not reply.

The police did not put forward suggestions that any terms of the licence had been breached, but the committee “had concerns about the extent of police resources that had been taken up, the time it took to control that disorder, and finally the lack of resources that had been left available for the rest of the borough if a major incident had occurred”.

The Coronet is due to close in January, when a one-year extension of its lease with landlord and property developer Delancey will end. The venue is then set to be demolished in 2019 as part of the regeneration of the Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre.

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