Unusual venues - suggestions please

Have you discovered a gem of an unusual venue? I thought it would be useful to start a wiki style post that everyone can add to for the benefit of the group.

It’s been announced this week that Malmaison Oxford, which is built inside a former prison, is making its A Wing available for private hire. The wing includes The Atrium with its vaulted ceilings (pictured) and guest rooms converted from cells, complete with iron doors and stone walls.


If you’re after drama this one’s pretty good: https://londonliverpoolstreet.andaz.hyatt.com/en/hotel/news-and-events/news-listing/andaz-masonic-temple--our-not-so-best-kept-secret.html I went on a fam trip there a few years ago.

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For a lovely 1930 building you can not go wrong with the Empire Theatre Sandwich, Kent. Very helpful people, willing to accommodate most wishes and reasonable rates http://www.empirecinemas.co.uk/ https://www.facebook.com/empiresandwich/ Highly recommended

On 26th June, 1937 the Empire Cinema in Sandwich opened it’s doors for the first time. The films chosen for the original opening performance were “TRUST THE NAVY” starring Lupino Lane and “CRAIG’S WIFE” starring Rosalind Russell as well as a coloured rhapsody plus the Gaumont Bristish News. The cinema was described as a modern, up to date and luxurious building situated in a prominent position near to the Guildhall in the centre of the town. The auditorium was of spacious design seating 600 people in total in the circle and stalls areas.

Now the cinema, which re-opened in 1993, is operational in the former circle section of the building and has still retained the art deco architecture and can accommodate 130 people. The auditorium has been completely re-seated with more comfortable and luxurious seats and the original decorative neon lighting has been restored to the frontage of the theatre.

The Lounge section is situated in the original stalls area and has been refurbished with comfortable chairs and tables and a maple dance floor installed in front of the cinema stage. A fully licensed bar is now available in the Lounge. A popular attraction in this area has been the monthly classic cinema presentations.

Visit this unique attractive art deco cinema and enjoy the best in film entertainment in comfort and pleasant surroundings. There is a large car park nearby with no evening charges and seats are bookable for all performances.

In 2013, the Empire Cinema converted to Digital - now promising the very best in Modern Digital Cinema and Dolby Digital Sound.

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Gosh that’s stunning. That would be lovely for a Christmas party.

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Great suggestion. What a wonderfully preserved slice of the 1930s. From looking at this video, it looks like it would be super for a 30s/40s themed event: https://youtu.be/xODmpZXFn-8


And the owners are so obliging, I hope its helpful to someone :slight_smile:

@KtMcPhee did an amazing exhibition at the Barge House OXO Tower in London last year. Great venue for a ‘blank canvas’ style approach.

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Very cool. I see it’s managed by the Coin Street social enterprise too, so you can support your community at the same time :innocent:

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I love a posh frock occasion and a dramatic gothic arch so I was thrilled to attend the Historic Motorsport Awards at London’s Guildhall last November. It’s a stunning looking venue, the food was exquisite and the staff were totally on it so that’s another recommendation from me: http://www.guildhall.cityoflondon.gov.uk/gallery

Good shout. I attended a Hogmanay party there once, in the vaults. They’re a great space:

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Ah yes we had drinks in there too!

Not sure if they’re doing private hire but this place caught my attention this week: https://www.alcotraz.co.uk/ Has anyone on here been there yet? Would certainly be a memorable evening perhaps for a team-building or networking get together!

Oh it seems to be courting a bit of controversy: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/sep/29/alcotraz-alcatraz-east-london-bar-san-francisco-jail Sounds fun though…

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Yes controversial but PR machine working well!

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Keeping with the lovely incarceration theme, I’ve also been to an event at the Clerkenwell House of Detention (an abandoned prison). Very spooky (it was a haunted house escape room style event tbf) but cool blank canvas venue: http://www.canvas-events.co.uk/venues/293/house-of-detention

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And just to continue on the theme, The Clink Restaurant at HMP Brixton is also available for private hire!

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wow - what have I started!! :joy:

I came across these two new Birmingham venues this morning:
Beyond shabby: http://www.theruindigbeth.com/ and graffiti, mini golf and cocktails: https://www.ghettogolf.co.uk/birmingham/ Not been to either yet but good to hear about quirky venues outside London.

I got reminded about a brilliant unique venue yesterday - Osea Island. It’s a four-square-mile island off the coast of Essex that can be hired exclusively for events. The chief event organiser there is the parent of a child who goes to my son’s new school. By all accounts, some very cool events are held there.

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And if private islands are your thing, here are a few more available for hire: http://metro.co.uk/2016/07/22/7-beautiful-private-islands-you-could-rent-off-the-british-coast-right-now-6022842/