The Save London's Theatres Campaign (SLTC)

Our History Archive Silver Jubilee

The Save London's Theatres Campaign (SLTC) was disbanded in 2009. However, some of the history of our work over the last 37 years can still be found on this site.

If you need to talk to someone about any concerns you may have about London's Theatre buildings today you are advised to contact the Theatres Trust, Equity, or the local Council where the Theatre is situated.

SLTC was founded in 1972 out of necessity, by Equity and at the behest of Equity members. By the early 1970s, Greater London alone had lost nearly 50 central and suburban theatres. By 1982 about 85% of the 1000 theatres existing nationally in 1914 (most of them then active) had been destroyed or mutilated beyond recall and most of the losses had occurred after 1945. But when in 1972 the then GLC Covent Garden plan was proposed, which would have meant the demolition of 12 theatres and effectively making 4 other Covent Garden Theatres unusable - leaving only 22 Theatres in the West End - there was no alternative but to set up the Campaign and begin a huge and ultimately highly successful campaign to oppose it.

One of the most important outcomes of our early campaigning, since the founding of SLTC, was the recognition of the value of theatre architecture and theatre interiors and subsequently the listing of a great many theatre buildings all over the UK.

Our work in saving these theatres (which was strongly supported by Equity and in collaboration with the Covent Garden Community Association), was a key phase in the history of the West End and the conservation of buildings, not only theatres.

Our remarkable cuttings album which is now part of the SLTC archive, and our campaign case files since 1972, have been archived at the Theatre Museum's Archives at Blythe House, (which despite the closure of the Theatre Museum remain secure and accessible.) They are considered to be by far the best record of this critical period.