Alexandra Palace
Alexandra Palace is a building in North London
North London
North London is the northern part of London, England. It is an imprecise description and the area it covers is defined differently for a range of purposes. Common to these definitions is that it includes districts located north of the River Thames and is used in comparison with South...

, England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. It stands in Alexandra Park
Alexandra Park, London
Alexandra Park is an 80 hectare, Green Flag Award and Green Heritage winning landscaped park in the Borough of Haringey in north London.-Overview:...

, in an area between Hornsey
Hornsey is a district in London Borough of Haringey in north London in England. Whilst Hornsey was formerly the name of a parish and later a municipal borough of Middlesex, today, the name refers only to the London district. It is an inner-suburban area located north of Charing Cross.-Locale:The ...

, Muswell Hill
Muswell Hill
Muswell Hill is a suburb of north London, mostly in the London Borough of Haringey. It is situated about north of Charing Cross and around from the City of London. Muswell Hill is in the N10 postal district and mostly in the Hornsey and Wood Green parliamentary constituency.- History :The...

 and Wood Green
Wood Green
Wood Green is a district in north London, England, located in the London Borough of Haringey. It is situated north of Charing Cross. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of the metropolitan centres in Greater London.-History:...

. It was built in 1873 as a public centre of recreation, education and entertainment and as North London's counterpart to the Crystal Palace
The Crystal Palace
The Crystal Palace was a cast-iron and glass building originally erected in Hyde Park, London, England, to house the Great Exhibition of 1851. More than 14,000 exhibitors from around the world gathered in the Palace's of exhibition space to display examples of the latest technology developed in...

 in South London
South London
South London is the southern part of London, England, United Kingdom.According to the 2011 official Boundary Commission for England definition, South London includes the London boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Croydon, Greenwich, Kingston, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Southwark, Sutton and...


Designed to be "The People’s Palace" and later nicknamed "Ally Pally" (allegedly by Gracie Fields
Gracie Fields
Dame Gracie Fields, DBE , was an English-born, later Italian-based actress, singer and comedienne and star of both cinema and music hall.-Early life:...

), in 1936 it became the headquarters of the world's first regular public "high-definition" television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

 service, operated by the BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

. The Alexandra Palace television station was located on the site and its iconic radio tower
Radio masts and towers
Radio masts and towers are, typically, tall structures designed to support antennas for telecommunications and broadcasting, including television. They are among the tallest man-made structures...

 is still in use. The original Studios A and B still survive in the south-east wing with their producers' galleries and are currently used for exhibiting original historical television equipment. Occasional demonstrations on the original 405-line VHF standard may also be transmitted from the tower in future. The original Victorian theatre with its stage machinery also survives. The theatre and stage structure is on English Heritage
English Heritage
English Heritage . is an executive non-departmental public body of the British Government sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport...

's Buildings at Risk register. The palace became a Grade II listed building in 1996, at the instigation of Hornsey Historical Society (against the opposition of trustee Haringey London Borough Council); an application was made in 2007 by the Society and the BBC to upgrade its listing from its current Grade II.

A planned commercial development of the building into a mixed leisure complex including hotel, replacement ice rink, cinema, bowling alley and exhibition centre encountered opposition from public groups and was blocked in the High Court in October 2007. As of 2010, the Great Hall and West Hall are mostly used as an exhibition centre, music venue and conference centre operated by the trading arm of the charitable trust
Charitable trusts in English law
Charitable trusts in English law are a form of express trust dedicated to charitable goals. There are a variety of advantages to charitable trust status, including exception from most forms of tax and freedom for the trustees not found in other types of English trust. To be a valid charitable...

 that owns the building and park on behalf of the public. There is also an ice-skating rink and Palm Court open to the public.


The Great Northern Palace Company had been established by 1860 but was initially unable to raise financing. Alexandra Park
Alexandra Park, London
Alexandra Park is an 80 hectare, Green Flag Award and Green Heritage winning landscaped park in the Borough of Haringey in north London.-Overview:...

 was opened to the public on 23 July 1863. Originally the new building was to be named "The Palace of the People"; it was then decided the park and Palace should commemorate the new Princess of Wales, Alexandra of Denmark
Alexandra of Denmark
Alexandra of Denmark was the wife of Edward VII of the United Kingdom...

, who had married Prince Albert Edward
Edward VII of the United Kingdom
Edward VII was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910...

, The Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales is a title traditionally granted to the heir apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the 15 other independent Commonwealth realms...

, four months earlier. However the building retained "Palace of the People" or "People's Palace" as an alternative name. In September 1865 construction of the palace commenced, but to a design different from the glass structure initially proposed by architect Owen Jones
Owen Jones (architect)
Owen Jones was a London-born architect and designer of Welsh descent. He was a versatile architect and designer, and one of the most influential design theorists of the nineteenth century...

The palace covers some 7.5 acres (30,351.5 m²). In 1871 work started on a railway line to connect the site to Highgate Station. Work on both the railway and the palace was completed in 1873 and, on 24 May of that year Alexandra Palace and Park was opened. The palace was built by Lucas Brothers
Lucas Brothers, Builders
Lucas Brothers was a leading British building business based in London.-Early history:The business was founded by Charles Thomas Lucas and Thomas Lucas . They were the sons of James Lucas , a builder, of St Pancras, London...

, who also built the Royal Albert Hall
Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall is a concert hall situated on the northern edge of the South Kensington area, in the City of Westminster, London, England, best known for holding the annual summer Proms concerts since 1941....

 at around the same time. Sims Reeves
Sims Reeves
John Sims Reeves , usually called simply Sims Reeves, was the foremost English operatic, oratorio and ballad tenor vocalist of the mid-Victorian era....

 sang on the opening day before an audience of 102,000. However, only sixteen days later a fire destroyed the palace, killing three members of staff. Only the outer walls survived. In this fire a loan Exhibition of a Collection of English Pottery and Porcelain, comprising some 4,700 items of historic and intrinsic value, was destroyed.

With typical Victorian vigour, the palace was quickly rebuilt and it reopened on 1 May 1875. The new palace contained a concert
A concert is a live performance before an audience. The performance may be by a single musician, sometimes then called a recital, or by a musical ensemble, such as an orchestra, a choir, or a musical band...

 hall, art galleries
Art gallery
An art gallery or art museum is a building or space for the exhibition of art, usually visual art.Museums can be public or private, but what distinguishes a museum is the ownership of a collection...

, a museum, a lecture hall, a library
In a traditional sense, a library is a large collection of books, and can refer to the place in which the collection is housed. Today, the term can refer to any collection, including digital sources, resources, and services...

, a banqueting room and a theatre
Theatre is a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place. The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, speech, song, music or dance...

. An open-air swimming pool was constructed at the base of the hill in the surrounding park; the pool is now long closed and little trace remains except some reeds. The grounds included a racecourse with grandstand (Alexandra Park, which closed in 1970), a Japanese village, a switchback ride, a boating lake and a nine-hole pitch-and-putt golf course. Alexandra Park Cricket and Football Club have also played within the grounds (in the middle of the old racecourse) since 1888. The Willis
Henry Willis
Henry Willis was a British organ player and builder, who is regarded as the foremost organ builder of the Victorian era.-Early Life and work:...

Organ (music)
The organ , is a keyboard instrument of one or more divisions, each played with its own keyboard operated either with the hands or with the feet. The organ is a relatively old musical instrument in the Western musical tradition, dating from the time of Ctesibius of Alexandria who is credited with...

 (installed in 1875, vandalised in 1918, restored and reopened in 1929) is still working, but its restoration is ongoing. In its 1929 restored form, Father Willis's masterpiece was declared by Marcel Dupré
Marcel Dupré
Marcel Dupré , was a French organist, pianist, composer, and pedagogue.-Biography:Marcel Dupré was born in Rouen . Born into a musical family, he was a child prodigy. His father Albert Dupré was organist in Rouen and a friend of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, who built an organ in the family house when...

 to be the finest concert-organ in Europe.
In 1900 the owners of the Palace and Park were threatening to sell them for redevelopment, but a consortium of local authorities led by Hornsey Urban District Council
Municipal Borough of Hornsey
Hornsey was a local government district in east Middlesex from 1867 to 1965.In 1867, a Local Board was formed for part of the civil parish of Hornsey. The rest of the parish was already under South Hornsey Local Board formed in 1865....

 managed to raise enough money to purchase them just in time. By the Alexandra Park and Palace (Public Purposes) Act 1900, a charitable trust was set up; representatives of the purchasing local authorities became the trustees with the duty to keep both palace and park "available for the free use and recreation of the public forever". It is this duty that the present trustee, Haringey
London Borough of Haringey
The London Borough of Haringey is a London borough, in North London, classified by some definitions as part of Inner London, and by others as part of Outer London. It was created in 1965 by the amalgamation of three former boroughs. It shares borders with six other London boroughs...

 Council, is currently trying to overturn, protesters fear, by selling the whole palace to a commercial developer.
The palace passed into the hands of the Greater London Council
Greater London Council
The Greater London Council was the top-tier local government administrative body for Greater London from 1965 to 1986. It replaced the earlier London County Council which had covered a much smaller area...

 in 1967, with the proviso that it should be used entirely for charitable purposes, and their trusteeship was transferred to Haringey Council
London Borough of Haringey
The London Borough of Haringey is a London borough, in North London, classified by some definitions as part of Inner London, and by others as part of Outer London. It was created in 1965 by the amalgamation of three former boroughs. It shares borders with six other London boroughs...

 in 1980.

During the First World War the park was closed and the palace and grounds were used as an internment camp for German and Austrian civilians. The camp commandant was Lt. Colonel Robert Sandilands Frowd Walker
Robert Sandilands Frowd Walker
Lt. Colonel Robert Sandilands Frowd Walker C.M.G. was a prominent figure in Malaya during the British colonial era in the late nineteenth-century...

 until his death in May 1917.
In 1935 the trustees leased part of the palace to the BBC for use as the production and transmission centre for their new BBC Television Service
BBC One is the flagship television channel of the British Broadcasting Corporation in the United Kingdom. It was launched on 2 November 1936 as the BBC Television Service, and was the world's first regular television service with a high level of image resolution...

. The antenna was designed by Charles Samuel Franklin
Charles Samuel Franklin
Charles Samuel Franklin , who published as C. S. Franklin, was a noted British radio pioneer.Franklin was born in London, the youngest of a family of 13, and educated at Finsbury Technical College in Finsbury, England, under Silvanus P. Thompson. After graduation in 1899 he joined the Marconi...

 of the Marconi
Marconi Company
The Marconi Company Ltd. was founded by Guglielmo Marconi in 1897 as The Wireless Telegraph & Signal Company...

 company. The UK's first public broadcasts of high-definition television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

 were made from this site in 1936. Two competing systems, Marconi-EMI's 405-line system and Baird
John Logie Baird
John Logie Baird FRSE was a Scottish engineer and inventor of the world's first practical, publicly demonstrated television system, and also the world's first fully electronic colour television tube...

's 240-line system, were installed, each with its own broadcast studio, and were transmitted on alternate weeks until the 405-line system was chosen in 1937. The palace continued as the BBC's main TV transmitting centre for London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 until 1956, interrupted only by World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, when the transmitter found an alternative use jamming German bombers' navigation systems
Battle of the beams
The Battle of the Beams was a period early in the Second World War when bombers of the German Air Force used a number of increasingly accurate systems of radio navigation for night bombing. British "scientific intelligence" at the Air Ministry fought back with a variety of increasingly effective...

 (it is said that only 25% of London raids were effective because of these transmissions). In 1944 a German doodlebug
V-1 flying bomb
The V-1 flying bomb, also known as the Buzz Bomb or Doodlebug, was an early pulse-jet-powered predecessor of the cruise missile....

 exploded just outside the organ end of the Great Hall and blew in the Rose Window, leaving the organ exposed to the elements. Between 1947 and 1948 the Ministry of Works employed a team which included architect E.T. Spashett to facilitate repairs to the building, including replacing the rose window.

In the early 1960s an outside broadcast was made from the very top of the tower, in which the first passage of a satellite across the London sky was watched and described. It continued to be used for news broadcasts until 1969, and for the Open University
Open University
The Open University is a distance learning and research university founded by Royal Charter in the United Kingdom...

 until the early 1980s. The antenna mast still stands, and is still used for local analogue television transmission, local commercial radio and DAB
Digital audio broadcasting
Digital Audio Broadcasting is a digital radio technology for broadcasting radio stations, used in several countries, particularly in Europe. As of 2006, approximately 1,000 stations worldwide broadcast in the DAB format....

 broadcasts. The main London television transmitter is at Crystal Palace in South London.

Early in 1980 Haringey Council took over the trusteeship of Alexandra Palace from the GLC and decided to refurbish the building. But just six months later, on 10 July during Capital Radio
Capital Radio
Capital London is a London based radio station which launched on 16 October 1973 and is owned by Global Radio. On 3 January 2011 it formed part of the nine station Capital radio network.- Pre-launch :...

's Jazz Festival, a second disastrous fire started under the organ and quickly spread. It destroyed half the building. Again the outer walls survived and the eastern parts, including the theatre and the BBC TV studios and aerial mast, were saved. In this fire parts of the famous organ were destroyed, though fortunately it had been dismantled for repairs so some parts (including nearly all the pipework) were away from the building in store. Some of the damage to the palace was repaired immediately but Haringey Council overspent on the restoration, creating a £30 million deficit. It was then reopened to the public in 1988 under a new management team headed by Louis Bizat. Later the Council was severely criticised for this overspend in a report by Project Management International. This was followed by the decision of the Attorney General
Attorney General
In most common law jurisdictions, the attorney general, or attorney-general, is the main legal advisor to the government, and in some jurisdictions he or she may also have executive responsibility for law enforcement or responsibility for public prosecutions.The term is used to refer to any person...

 in 1991 that the overspending by the Council as trustee was unlawful and so could not be charged to the charity. The Council for some years did not accept this politically embarrassing finding, and instead maintained that the charity "owed" the Council £30m, charged compound interest on what it termed a "debt" (which eventually rose to a claim of some £60m), and to recoup it tried to offer the whole palace for sale - a policy their successors are still trying to carry out despite being stalled in the High Court in 2007. As of June 2008, it is still unclear whether the Council in either of its guises has agreed to write off its overspend.

An ice rink
Ice rink
An ice rink is a frozen body of water and/or hardened chemicals where people can skate or play winter sports. Besides recreational ice skating, some of its uses include ice hockey, figure skating and curling as well as exhibitions, contests and ice shows...

 was installed in 1990. Primarily intended for public skating
Ice skating
Ice skating is moving on ice by using ice skates. It can be done for a variety of reasons, including leisure, traveling, and various sports. Ice skating occurs both on specially prepared indoor and outdoor tracks, as well as on naturally occurring bodies of frozen water, such as lakes and...

, it has also housed ice hockey
Ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

 teams including Haringey Racers, Haringey Greyhounds
Haringey Greyhounds
The Haringey Greyhounds are a British ice hockey club based in Harringay, England.The team was founded in 1990, as the second team at Alexandra Palace, the first being Haringey Racers. In 1992, Racers collapsed, leaving Greyhounds as the rink's first team. They entered the English Conference and...

 and briefly London Racers
London Racers
The London Racers was a British ice hockey club based in London, England formerly members of the Elite Ice Hockey League. Although founded in 2003, it claimed to be a successor of the Harringay Racers club established in 1936. Due to a lack of suitable ice facility the club suspended its team...

. During the 1960s the palace housed a public roller-skating rink.

The theatre was greatly altered in the early 1920s, with the General Manager, W. J. MacQueen-Pope
W. J. MacQueen-Pope
Walter James MacQueen-Pope was an English theatre historian and publicist. From a theatrical family which could be traced back to contemporaries of Shakespeare, he was in management for the first part of his career, but switched to publicity, in which field he became well-known...

, spending the war reparation money on refurbishing the auditorium. He abandoned the understage machinery that produced the effects necessary in Victorian melodrama
The term melodrama refers to a dramatic work that exaggerates plot and characters in order to appeal to the emotions. It may also refer to the genre which includes such works, or to language, behavior, or events which resemble them...

; some of the machinery is preserved, and there is a project to restore some of it to working order. After these changes, the theatre was leased by Archie Pitt, then husband of Gracie Fields
Gracie Fields
Dame Gracie Fields, DBE , was an English-born, later Italian-based actress, singer and comedienne and star of both cinema and music hall.-Early life:...

, who appeared in the theatre. Fields also drew an audience of five thousand people to the Hall for a charity event. However after the BBC leased the eastern part of the palace the theatre was only used for props storage space.

In June 2004 the first performances for about seventy years took place in the theatre, first in its foyer then on 2 July in the theatre itself. Although conditions were far from ideal, the audience was able to see the potential of this very large space – originally seating 3000, it cannot currently be licensed for more than a couple of hundred. It is intended that the theatre will one day reopen, but much costly restoration will be required first. It will never again reach a seating capacity
Seating capacity
Seating capacity refers to the number of people who can be seated in a specific space, both in terms of the physical space available, and in terms of limitations set by law. Seating capacity can be used in the description of anything ranging from an automobile that seats two to a stadium that seats...

 of 3000 (not least because one balcony was removed in the early part of the 20th century as a fire precaution, when films started to be shown there), but it does seem likely that a capacity of more than 1000 may one day be achieved. A major season of the theatre company Complicite
The British theatre company Complicite was founded in 1983 by Simon McBurney, Annabel Arden, and Marcello Magni. Its original name was Théâtre de Complicité. "The Company's inimitable style of visual and devised theatre [has] an emphasis on strong, corporeal, poetic and surrealist image supporting...

 was planned for 2005 but the project, which would have included some repair and access work, was cancelled due to higher-than-anticipated costs.

Plans by the current trustees, Haringey Council, to replace all the charitable uses by commercial ones by a commercial lease of the entire building, including a casino, have encountered considerable public and legal opposition, and on 5 October 2007, in the High Court, Mr Justice Sullivan granted an application by Jacob O'Callaghan, a London resident, to quash the Charity Commission's Order authorising a 125-year lease of the entire building to Firoka Ltd.


Horse racing
Horse racing
Horse racing is an equestrian sport that has a long history. Archaeological records indicate that horse racing occurred in ancient Babylon, Syria, and Egypt. Both chariot and mounted horse racing were events in the ancient Greek Olympics by 648 BC...

 took place in the park from 1868 to 1970 in London's only racecourse which was nicknamed "The Frying Pan" from its distinctive layout. As recently as 1999 plans were being put forward for its re-opening.

Notable events

In November every year, a large free fireworks display is usually held as part of London's Bonfire Night
Guy Fawkes Night
Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Day, Bonfire Night and Firework Night, is an annual commemoration observed on 5 November, primarily in England. Its history begins with the events of 5 November 1605, when Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested while guarding...

 celebrations, although there was no 2010 or 2011 show as part of budget constraints.


The Observer
The Observer
The Observer is a British newspaper, published on Sundays. In the same place on the political spectrum as its daily sister paper The Guardian, which acquired it in 1993, it takes a liberal or social democratic line on most issues. It is the world's oldest Sunday newspaper.-Origins:The first issue,...

 Wildlife Exhibition held here in 1963 was an important early event in highlighting awareness of worldwide endangered species, and gained a very large attendance (46,000).

On 28 April 1967, a benefit event took place at the palace. "The 14 Hour Technicolour Dream", organised by the "International Times
International Times
International Times was an underground newspaper founded in London in 1966. Editors included Hoppy, David Mairowitz, Pete Stansill, Barry Miles, Jim Haynes and playwright Tom McGrath...

", demonstrated the importance of the quickly developing UK Underground scene. Although "underground" venues such as the UFO Club
UFO Club
The UFO Club was a famous but shortlived UK underground club in London during the 1960s, venue of performances by many of the top bands of the day.-History:...

 were hosting counter-cultural bands, this was certainly the biggest indoor event at the time. Performers included headlining act Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd were an English rock band that achieved worldwide success with their progressive and psychedelic rock music. Their work is marked by the use of philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, innovative album art, and elaborate live shows. Pink Floyd are one of the most commercially...

, The Pretty Things
The Pretty Things
The Pretty Things are an English rock and roll band from London, who originally formed in 1963. They took their name from Bo Diddley's 1955 song "Pretty Thing" and, in their early days, were dubbed by the British press the "uglier cousins of the Rolling Stones". Their most commercially successful...

, Savoy Brown
Savoy Brown
Savoy Brown, originally known as the Savoy Brown Blues Band, are a British blues rock band, formed in 1965, in Battersea, South West London...

, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown
The Crazy World of Arthur Brown
The Crazy World of Arthur Brown is a psychedelic rock album by Arthur Brown and his band The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, released in 1968. Considered a classic of the late-1960s psychedelic scene and a significant influence on progressive rock, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown includes covers of...

, Soft Machine
Soft Machine
Soft Machine were an English rock band from Canterbury, named after the book The Soft Machine by William S. Burroughs. They were one of the central bands in the Canterbury scene, and helped pioneer the progressive rock genre...

, The Move
The Move
The Move, from Birmingham, England, were one of the leading British rock bands of the 1960s. They scored nine Top 20 UK singles in five years, but were among the most popular British bands not to find any success in the United States....

 and Sam Gopal's Dream
Sam Gopal
Sam Gopal is an underground British Psychedelic rock band.The band is named after its founder, Sam Gopal, born in Malaysia...

 (featuring Sam Gopal, Mick Hutchinson and Pete Sears
Pete Sears
Peter 'Pete' Sears is an English rock musician. In a career spanning more than four decades he has been a member of many bands and has moved through a variety of musical genres, from early R&B, psychedelic improvisational rock of the 1960s, folk, country music, arena rock in the 1970s, and blues...



In 1971, a chase scene for the Italian/Spanish horror
Horror film
Horror films seek to elicit a negative emotional reaction from viewers by playing on the audience's most primal fears. They often feature scenes that startle the viewer through the means of macabre and the supernatural, thus frequently overlapping with the fantasy and science fiction genres...

/thriller giallo
Giallo is an Italian 20th century genre of literature and film, which in Italian indicates crime fiction and mystery. In the English language it refers to a genre similar to the French fantastique genre and includes elements of horror fiction and eroticism...

A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

 A Lizard in a Woman's Skin
A Lizard in a Woman's Skin
Lizard in a Woman's Skin is a 1971 Italian giallo film directed by Lucio Fulci. It was released in 1971. The film follows the daughter of a respected politician by the name of Carol Hammond , who experiences a series of vivid, psychedelic nightmares consisting of depraved sex orgies and LSD...

 (Italian: Una lucertola con la pelle di donna), directed by Lucio Fulci
Lucio Fulci
Lucio Fulci was an Italian film director, screenwriter, and actor. He is perhaps best known for his directorial work on gore films, including Zombie and The Beyond , although he made films in genres as diverse as giallo, western, and comedy...

, was filmed at Alexandra Palace.

In 1973 the Divine Light Mission
Divine Light Mission
The Divine Light Mission was an organization founded in 1960 by guru Shri Hans Ji Maharaj for his following in northern India. During the 1970s, the DLM gained prominence in the West under the leadership of his fourth and youngest son, Guru Maharaj Ji...

 held a "Festival of Love".

On December 22, 1973 British rock band Wishbone Ash played a Christmas concert at the Palace, billed as Christmas At The Palace with support from Vinegar Joe, Renaissance & Al Stewart.

The Grateful Dead
Grateful Dead
The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in the San Francisco Bay Area. The band was known for its unique and eclectic style, which fused elements of rock, folk, bluegrass, blues, reggae, country, improvisational jazz, psychedelia, and space rock, and for live performances of long...

 played a series of shows here, 9 September 1974 – 11 September 1974. The band's recording of the show was released as part of the Dick's Picks series in March, 1997.


The exterior of the palace was used as Victory Square in Michael Radford
Michael Radford
Michael Radford is an English film director and screenwriter.-Early life and career:Radford was born on 24 February 1946, in New Delhi, India, to a British father and an Austrian Jewish mother. He was educated at Bedford School before attending Worcester College, Oxford...

's 1984 film adaptation
Nineteen Eighty-Four (film)
Nineteen Eighty-Four is a 1984 British science fiction film, based upon George Orwell's novel of the same name, following the life of Winston Smith in Oceania, a country run by a totalitarian government...

 of George Orwell
George Orwell
Eric Arthur Blair , better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist...

's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four
Nineteen Eighty-Four
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell is a dystopian novel about Oceania, a society ruled by the oligarchical dictatorship of the Party...


The Famous Sinclair C5
Sinclair C5
The Sinclair Research C5 is a battery electric vehicle invented by Sir Clive Sinclair and launched by Sinclair Research in the United Kingdom on 10 January 1985. The vehicle is a battery-assisted tricycle steered by a handlebar beneath the driver's knees. Powered operation is possible making it...

 was launched at the palace on 10 January 1985, just a week after the closure of the 405-line television system that was launched at the Palace 49 years earlier.


The Stone Roses
The Stone Roses
The Stone Roses are an English alternative rock band formed in Manchester in 1983. They were one of the pioneering groups of the Madchester movement that was active during the late 1980s and early 1990s...

 played their first major gig in the south of England, which became famous because the band managed to sell the venue out before being featured significantly in the music press or making any national TV appearances.

Hugh Cornwell
Hugh Cornwell
Hugh Alan Cornwell is an English musician and songwriter, best known for being the vocalist and guitarist for the punk/new wave group, The Stranglers, from 1974 to 1990.-Career:...

 played his last gig with the Stranglers on 13 August 1990.

Squeeze and The Kinks
The Kinks
The Kinks were an English rock band formed in Muswell Hill, North London, by brothers Ray and Dave Davies in 1964. Categorised in the United States as a British Invasion band, The Kinks are recognised as one of the most important and influential rock acts of the era. Their music was influenced by a...

 performed at Alexandra Palace on 12 August 1990, in a concert that was broadcast on BBC Television.

Blur (band)
Blur is an English alternative rock band. Formed in London in 1989 as Seymour, the group consists of singer Damon Albarn, guitarist Graham Coxon, bassist Alex James and drummer Dave Rowntree. Blur's debut album Leisure incorporated the sounds of Madchester and shoegazing...

 organised a major concert at the venue in October 1994 to promote their album Parklife
Parklife is the third studio album by the English alternative rock band Blur, released in April 1994 on Food Records. After disappointing sales for their previous album Modern Life Is Rubbish , Parklife returned Blur to prominence in the UK, helped by its four hit singles: "Girls & Boys", "End of a...

. The concert was later released on VHS, and used as the basis for Blur's promo video End of a Century
End of a Century
"End of a Century" is a song by Blur. It was the last single to be released from their third album Parklife and reached #19 on the UK Singles Chart in 1994. The video is a live performance recorded at Alexandra Palace....


From 1993 to 1995, the Brit Awards
Brit Awards
The Brit Awards are the British Phonographic Industry's annual pop music awards. The name was originally a shortened form of "British", "Britain" or "Britannia", but subsequently became a backronym for British Record Industry Trust...

 were hosted at the venue.

The 1996 MTV Europe Music Awards
MTV Europe Music Awards
The MTV Europe Music Awards were established in 1994 by MTV Networks Europe to celebrate the most popular music videos in Europe. Originally beginning as an alternative to the American MTV Video Music Awards, the MTV Europe Music Awards is today a popular celebration of what MTV viewers consider...

 were held here, hosted by Robbie Williams
Robbie Williams
Robert Peter "Robbie" Williams is an English singer-songwriter, vocal coach and occasional actor. He is a member of the pop group Take That. Williams rose to fame in the band's first run in the early- to mid-1990s. After many disagreements with the management and certain group members, Williams...



The 52nd edition of the Miss World
Miss World 2002
Miss World 2002, the 52nd Miss World pageant was held on December 7, 2002 at Alexandra Palace, London, United Kingdom. The pageant was initially slated for Abuja, Nigeria but due to conflict in the city of Kaduna arising from a publication of an article in a Lagos based newspaper the pageant was...

 pageant was held in the palace on 7 December 2002. The pageant was initially slated for Abuja
Abuja is the capital city of Nigeria. It is located in the centre of Nigeria, within the Federal Capital Territory . Abuja is a planned city, and was built mainly in the 1980s. It officially became Nigeria's capital on 12 December 1991, replacing Lagos...

, Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

 but due to conflict in the city of Kaduna
Kaduna is the state capital of Kaduna State in north-central Nigeria. The city, located on the Kaduna River, is a trade center and a major transportation hub for the surrounding agricultural areas with its rail and road junction. The population of Kaduna is at 760,084 as of the 2006 Nigerian census...

 arising from a publication of an article in a Lagos
Lagos is a port and the most populous conurbation in Nigeria. With a population of 7,937,932, it is currently the third most populous city in Africa after Cairo and Kinshasa, and currently estimated to be the second fastest growing city in Africa...

- based newspaper, the pageant was relocated to London at the Alexandra Palace. The Strokes
The Strokes
The Strokes are an American indie rock band formed in 1999 in New York City. Consisting of Julian Casablancas , Nick Valensi , Albert Hammond, Jr. , Nikolai Fraiture and Fabrizio Moretti ....

 recorded a live performance at Alexandra Palace on 5 December 2003, this performance was to be released in the form of a live album, but the idea was scrapped. Travis
Travis (band)
Travis are a post-Britpop band from Glasgow, Scotland, comprising Fran Healy , Dougie Payne , Andy Dunlop and Neil Primrose...

 played Ally Pally on 20 December 2003, the footage of which was used for their live DVD titled 'Travis - At The Palace'.

The third annual European Social Forum
European Social Forum
The European Social Forum is a recurring conference held by members of the alter-globalization movement . In the first few years after it started in 2002 the conference was held every year, but later it became biannual due to difficulties with finding host countries...

 (ESF) took place on 15–17 October 2004 in London, the main venue being Alexandra Palace. The very first Give It a Name
Give it a Name
Give it a Name, also known as GIAN, , named after an At the Drive-In song, was an annual British rock music festival, normally held on the weekend nearest to the end of April. The first festival took place on May 2, 2005 at Alexandra Palace, North London...

 music festival was held at Alexandra Palace on 2 May 2005. In October 2005 Kiss 100
Kiss 100 London
Kiss is a UK radio station broadcasting on FM and Digital Radio, specialising in hip hop, R&B, urban and electronic dance music. It also broadcasts on DAB Digital Radio around the UK & nationally on Freeview, Sky and TalkTalk TV...

 celebrated its 20th anniversary with a club night featuring many famous past and present Kiss DJs performing. On 5 December 2005 Paul Weller Played one night and released the show on a two disc cd entitled Catch Flame.

In 2005 a dance music rave
Rave, rave dance, and rave party are parties that originated mostly from acid house parties, which featured fast-paced electronic music and light shows. At these parties people dance and socialize to dance music played by disc jockeys and occasionally live performers...

 promoted by Slammin' Vinyl under the name of Tranzmission was held at Ally Pally.

Alexandra Palace plays an important part in the 2006 Doctor Who
Doctor Who
Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC. The programme depicts the adventures of a time-travelling humanoid alien known as the Doctor who explores the universe in a sentient time machine called the TARDIS that flies through time and space, whose exterior...

episode "The Idiot's Lantern
The Idiot's Lantern
"The Idiot's Lantern" is an episode in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was first broadcast on 27 May 2006.-Plot:...

", set in 1953.

British television's 70th anniversary occurred on 2 November 2006 and this was marked with a special event called "TV70". A closed-circuit television programme was produced in Studio A using vintage equipment. This comprised some archive materials and an interview with several well-known stars from the early days of British television.

On 16 June 2007 – 17 June 2007 the Palace hosted the first London Hackday which was affected by a lightning strike on the building resulting in rooftop vents opening and the hall being flooded.

In August 2008, the LivingTV series Most Haunted Live used Alexandra Palace as their studio for a three night live programme entitled 'Total Darkness'. The studio was home to Paul Ross, historian Lesley Smith, interactive host Julian Clegg and the studio audience.

On 15 November 2008, the venue hosted Bullet For My Valentine
Bullet for My Valentine
Bullet for My Valentine are a Welsh heavy metal band from Bridgend, formed in 1998. The band is composed of Matt Tuck , Michael Paget , Jason James , and Michael Thomas . They were formed under the name Jeff Killed John and started their music career by covering songs by Metallica and Nirvana...

 as part of their Scream Aim Fire
Scream Aim Fire
Scream Aim Fire is the second studio album by Welsh heavy metal band Bullet for My Valentine, released on 28 January 2008 in the UK and the preceding day in the US...

 tour. They were supported by Black Tide
Black Tide
Black Tide is an American heavy metal band from Miami, Florida. Formed in 2004, the group is currently signed to Interscope Records and is composed of Gabriel Garcia , Austin Diaz , Zachary Sandler , and Steven Spence...

, Lacuna Coil
Lacuna Coil
Lacuna Coil is an Italian gothic metal band from Milan. Formed in 1994, the group has had two name changes since being previously known as Sleep of Right and Ethereal and was inspired by the combination of gothic imagery and music...

, Bleeding Through
Bleeding Through
Bleeding Through is an American metalcore band from Orange County, California. Formed in 1999, the band blends influences stemming from modern hardcore punk, symphonic black metal, and melodic death metal...

 and Lawnmower Deth
Lawnmower Deth
Lawnmower Deth are an English thrash metal band who parodied the genre and recorded three-and-a-half albums. Initially active in the late 1980s and early 1990s, they reformed in 2008.-Main career :...

. The Show sold out with 9,000 fans attending the venue and is one of the largest metal concerts to be held at the venue to date. The show was recorded and is set to be released on their second live DVD.

On November 20th and 21st 2008, the Icelandic band Sigur Ros
Sigur Rós
Sigur Rós is an Icelandic post-rock band with classicaland minimalist elements. The band is known for its ethereal sound, and frontman Jónsi Birgisson's falsetto vocals and use of bowed guitar. In January 2010, the band announced that they will be on hiatus. Since then, it has since been announced...

 played at the venue in support of their album Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
-Track listing:-Personnel:* Jón Þór Birgisson – vocals, guitar* Kjartan Sveinsson – keyboards* Georg Hólm – bass* Orri Páll Dýrason – drumsStrings: Amiina...

. The performances were compiled into a concert film and album entitled Inni
Inni has received mostly positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 79, based on 16 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews"..Marc Hogan from Spin wrote: "After...

, which was released in 2011.

Death Cab for Cutie
Death Cab for Cutie
Death Cab for Cutie is an American alternative rock band formed in Bellingham, Washington in 1997. The band consists of Ben Gibbard , Chris Walla , Nick Harmer and Jason McGerr ....

 were due to play at the venue as part of their European Long Division tour in November 2008, but the concert was downsized to the Brixton Academy due to low ticket sales.

Alexandra Palace is the new venue for the PDC World Darts Championship
PDC World Darts Championship
The PDC World Darts Championship is a world championship competition for the sport of darts, organised by the Professional Darts Corporation . It was introduced following a dispute in 1994 with the British Darts Organisation, which has run its own world championship since 1978...

 from December 2007 after 14 years at the Circus Tavern
Circus Tavern
The Circus Tavern is an entertainment venue in Purfleet, Essex, England which hosts functions, cabaret acts and is also a nightclub venue. However, it is most famous as having been a long-time venue of the PDC World Darts Championship....

 in Purfleet
Purfleet is a place in the Thurrock unitary authority in Essex, England. It is situated south of the A13 road on the River Thames and within the easterly bounds of the M25 motorway but just outside the Greater London boundary. It was within the traditional Church of England parish of West Thurrock...

, Essex
Essex is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in the East region of England, and one of the home counties. It is located to the northeast of Greater London. It borders with Cambridgeshire and Suffolk to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent to the South and London to the south west...

. The Alexandra Palace was previously home to the News of the World Darts Championship
News of the World Darts Championship
The News of the World Individual Darts Championship was one of the first major organised darts competitions, which began in 1927. It became England's first national darts competition from 1947 until its demise in 1990...

 between 1963 and 1977.

April 2008 saw the relauch of the regular Antiques Fairs, now held four times a year, organised by Nelson Events Ltd.

On 4 November 2009 Hip-hop musician Jay-Z
Shawn Corey Carter , better known by his stage name Jay-Z, is an American rapper, record producer, entrepreneur, and occasional actor. He is one of the most financially successful hip hop artists and entrepreneurs in America, having a net worth of over $450 million as of 2010...

 performed a one off Show at the Palace during his Fall tour. Scenes from the concert and the view across London were intercut in the video "Young Forever
Young Forever
Young Forever is the debut album from Scottish indie band Aberfeldy. It was recorded in mono using one microphone and produced by Jim Sutherland.-Track listing:# "A Friend Like You"# "Slow Me Down"# "Love Is An Arrow"# "Tie One On"# "Summer's Gone"...



The band Portishead hosted one of two All Tomorrow's Parties
All Tomorrow's Parties (music festival)
All Tomorrow's Parties is a music festival which takes place at Camber Sands holiday camp in East Sussex and Butlin's holiday camp in Minehead, Somerset, England....

 music festivals titled I'll Be Your Mirror on 23-24 July 2011 at the palace.

The fiftieth anniversary programme of Songs of Praise
Songs of Praise
Songs of Praise is a BBC Television programme based around traditional Christian hymns. It is a widely watched and long-running religious television programme, one of the few peak-time free-to-air religious programmes in Europe Songs of Praise is a BBC Television programme based around traditional...

 was recorded on 25 September and broadcast on 2 October 2011.

On February 10th, 2012, the venue will host The Black Keys
The Black Keys
The Black Keys are an American rock duo consisting of vocalist/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer/producer Patrick Carney. The band was formed in Akron, Ohio, in 2001. As of October 2011, the band has sold over 2 million albums in the U.S....

 as the last stop of their European Tour.

In March 2012, the Palace will host 2 nights of Florence + The Machine's UK Ceremonials (album) Tour.

In 2012 the Alexandra Palace will host the Masters snooker
Masters (snooker)
The Masters is a professional snooker tournament and the second longest running tournament outside the World Championship. Although not a ranking event, it is regarded as one of the most prestigious tournaments on the circuit, earning the second biggest prize money.-History:The tournament was held...


During the 2012 London Olympics it will serve as the official Dutch Olympic team
Netherlands at the 2012 Summer Olympics
The Netherlands is scheduled to compete at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, United Kingdom from July 27 to August 12, 2012.- Athletics:...

's residence.


  • Nearest rail station: Alexandra Palace
    Alexandra Palace railway station
    Alexandra Palace railway station is in the London Borough of Haringey in north London, and is in Travelcard Zone 3. The station, and all trains serving it, are operated by First Capital Connect...

  • Nearest Tube
    London Underground
    The London Underground is a rapid transit system serving a large part of Greater London and some parts of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Essex in England...

     station: Wood Green
    Wood Green tube station
    Wood Green is a London Underground station on the Piccadilly Line. The station is between Turnpike Lane and Bounds Green stations and is in Travelcard Zone 3. It is located at junction of Wood Green High Road and Lordship Lane...

  • Address: Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, London N22 7AY

External links

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