The London Casino
The Prince Edward Theatre on Old Compton Street, named after Edward Prince of Wales, opened on the 3rd April 1930 on the site of a drapers business called The Emporium. The area was soon to be known as London’s Quarter Latin now simply Soho and the venue later became The London Casino. The exterior was in the style of an Italian Palace, and the foyer pure art deco. The auditorium was on two levels (stalls and dress circle) and seated 1,650. From its inception the shows staged (Rio Rita, Nippy, Fanfare) did not do well and even an appearance of the famous Parisian music hall star Josephine Baker failed to click. After the pantomime Aladdin the theatre was forced to close in January 1935.
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Folie Parisienne was the second presentation at the French Casino New York in September 1935. It was transferred to the Miami Beach French Casino in January 1936 and was then the opening show at the London Casino in April 1936. It was a highly elaborate mix of spectacle, ballet and speciality acts with fashion shows, dog shows, butterflies, fountains, a carpet of roses, aerialists, dancers and as usual a magnificent array of mannequins and chorus girls.
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