History of Panton Street
We are looking at the western street block of the southside of Panton Street in central London, Leicester Square area. On the left we see the Harold Pinter Theatre and Oxendon Street and on the right the block is edged by a commercial building along Haymarket. Panton Street is named after Thomas Panton, an investor who bought property in the area in the late 17th century and was responsible for the creation of the street. The street runs from Leicester Square to Haymarket for approximately 167 metres. The two narrow buildings in the middle (with stone plat bands over 2nd floor indicating No. 5 and 6) are listed buildings from the late 17th century, which were rebuilt/heightened in the 18th century.
In addition to the Harold Pinter Theatre on the left, we can also see the Korean restaurant YORI, as well as the restaurants Machiya, Andalucia, Canada-Ya and Steak & Co. in this shopping street view at the time of the photo.
The Harold Pinter Theatre | The Royal Comedy Theatre
Opened in 1881 and designed by architect Thomas Verity the prominent theatre building on the left was, for more than a century, known as the (Royal) Comedy Theatre. In october 2011 it was renamed Harold Pinter Theatre, honouring the british dramatist and literature nobel prize winner of 2005. The theatre was built as a three-tier house, which retained its original auditorium with its horseshoe-shaped balconies. Its exterior facade was created in the classical tradition in painted (stucco) stone and brick. Since 1972 it is a English Heritage Grade II listed building. In the mid 1950s the Comedy Theatre was home to the New Watergate Club which allowed many plays that were otherwise banned to take place under specific club conditions. This helped overturning the 1843 Theatres Act, which required all scripts to first be approved, a few years later. Please find much more info on the theatre at ArthurLloyd.co.uk
At the time this photograph was taken, the Theatre played Consent by Nina Raine which ran 29 May – 11 August in 2018.