2018 saw the opening of EartH, one of London’s most remarkable new music and arts venues in Dalston – a creative neighbourhood which had been crying out for a decent sized music venue until now. In its previous incarnation, it was Efes Pool Hall – the legendary hipster hangout and location for many a Vice Magazine photo shoot, where late-night debauchery came as standard. Pool players, however, were blissfully unaware that above them was a glorious art deco cinema, which opened its doors in 1937 but had laid derelict since 1984. Scarface was the last film to show there.
Many of the original art deco features have been restored in the multi-million pound refurb, allowing for one of the most impressive panoramas for live entertainment in London. The 650 cap upstairs theatre offers free seating on levelled risers rather than seats and I love the rough-and-ready semi-refurbished ambiance provided by the exposed wall supports. Aside from the theatre, comedy, cabaret and mixed arts events, the musical programming leans towards forward-thinking jazz, electronica, world and adult contemporary. The venue downstairs meanwhile offers a more straightforward concert hall vibe veering more towards alternative and club events, all in the best possible taste.
Also, don’t miss the latest addition to the complex, the delightful EartH Kitchen, a restaurant and bar run by ex-St John chef Chris Gillard. Simple, modern British cuisine at its best.