The Coronet Theatre has had many guises over the years but now it is making a name for itself as a top event space and old skool clubber's paradise.
Elephant is something of a south London late night hot spot with The Coronet making up a triangle of dance music venues, its neighbours being Corsica Studios and Ministry of Sound. Anyone familiar with Elephant and Castle will know that The Coronet used to be an old cinema. Transformed into a concert venue and club space in 2004, it hosts a variety of big nights like Mulletover and Torture Garden as well as event workshops and boxing nights.
As with Ministry, there are metal detectors on entry, but this adds to the drama and anticipation of the night. It’s hard to know where to begin when you walk in as there are a number of staircases and rooms to get lost in. However, the main room is straight ahead when you enter and is an immense space with a huge stage at the end. As clubbers gather round the sides and on the stairs and the laser show throws shapes around the room it is reminiscent of a scene from the Hacienda. Up the stairs to the first floor is another large space with a bar along the right-hand side. To the left-hand side of this room is the VIP area with ample dancing space and a separate small bar. Up another level and you'll find the venue’s highlight - the original cinema grand circle tier looks over the stage and is a wonderful and rare addition to any club. Here you can dance in the aisle or relax and get a perfect view of the stage in comfortable surroundings. The décor throughout is a mix of old and new; velvet curtains make up the old and concrete and metal make up the new.
There is a nostalgic feel to The Coronet because of its décor and old skool music events. Nights like Ratpack bring you MCs and DJs from over 20 years ago and the clientele reflects this. It’s grimy and dark, full of ravers young and old in for the long haul. The bouncers can be bolshie and rude, but it’s south London so they need to be on their guard.
The Coronet Theatre is doing a clever thing in showcasing music that people used to love but can’t dance to outside of their bedroom anymore. It doesn’t fall short with its line-ups either, getting the best DnB, house and jungle DJs to perform. Many of the events are sold out and in a venue with many different rooms there is something for everyone. The PA system is excellent too, especially in the main room.
Beverages are standard prices and served in plastic cups. Beer is available on tap and bottled, too. The usual spirits and mixers are on offer while wine is probably best avoided.
The Last Word
Unfortunately, Elephant and Castle doesn’t have much going for it in the daytime, so it’s good to see people flocking to the south east London roundabout for some late-night-into-early-morning raving. Most of London’s superclubs are long gone, so it's refreshing to see an area in which they are still flourishing, with The Coronet adding all the drama and theatre to proceedings you'd expect.