Entertainment
shepherds bush tube sign

New Shepherd’s Bush music venue to open in ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit?’ building

By Samuel Draper
February 7 2020, 18.00

Exhibition, a new venue in the heart of the White City regeneration, opens tomorrow night with a Catfish & The Bottlemen charity show.

The Dimco Buildings, as they are also known, have a steep history which dates back to 1899, when it was built as a London Underground electricity generation station for the Central Line.

It is the earliest example of an electricity station built for the London Underground, and was designed by Harry Bell Measures, an architect responsible for many of the tube line’s earliest stations.

The name of the Grade II listed building comes from when the Dimco Power Tool company used to run it, and a blue plaque was recently unveiled showcasing its history as an electricity generation station and then Dimco’s home.

It also featured as a film location, as the ACME factory in ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ and as the interior of the British Museum during ‘The Mummy Returns’.

Previously a bus depot too, it is now opening as a new music venue with a 2,300 capacity run by Broadwick Live, which runs Printworks in Canada Water as well as festivals like Snowbombing and Field Day.

The repurposed new venue is part of the £8bn regeneration of White City, encompassing next door’s Westfield shopping centre, and also forms part of Hammersmith & Fulham’s Industrial Strategy.

Hammersmith & Fulham Council is particularly proud of its live music heritage, including Shepherds Bush Empire and the Hammersmith Apollo, which forms part of its Arts Agenda programme.

Cllr Stephen Cowan, leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council, said: “This beautiful Victorian building has been brought up-to-date and transformed into a new 21st century entertainment hub which has few venues to rival it in London.”

Annabel Clarke, chairman of The Hammersmith & Fulham Historic Buildings Group, said: “The Hammersmith & Fulham Historic Buildings Group are delighted that another listed building in the borough has been so sensitively restored and transformed into an exciting new entertainment venue.”

The Exhibition name comes from the close proximity to the site of 1908’s Franco British Exhibition, which was also the location of the fencing events at that summer’s Olympics in London.

However, the move to a venue has not been smooth.

During the planning stages, some members of the nearby Macfarlane Road Residents Association expressed their concerns, especially related to parking and the use of the road by Uber drivers.

The venue’s licensing arrangements can be changed if the launch is found to be significantly problematic for local people.

The venue’s website features a duty phone line for residents to text in concerns during events.  

The opening show is Catfish & The Bottlemen’s performance which kickstarts a month of Brits Week with O2 shows raising money for the charity Warchild.

The indie-rock band are also playing a show at Clapham Common in May to raise funds for the breast cancer charity Walk The Walk.

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