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Heritage & Conservation

News Time-Lapse of Theatres

4 January 2024 Holly Eckersley

Theatres are an important cultural space where historical and contemporary texts can be re-imagined and given new interpretations. These communal spaces bring people together to celebrate art and offer entertainment to audiences. Here, we shine a light on our wonderful theatres in the UK and look back at some of our own time-lapse photography in these beautiful spaces.

Ballerinas dancing on a stage in unison. This black and white image shows three ballerinas lifting their arms in time. Time-lapse of theatres.

Piccadilly theatre time-lapse

We are proud to have worked with the prestigious Piccadilly Theatre. We captured the restoration of the theatre’s roof, keeping a record of this historic site’s refurbishment. A wonderful example of 1920’s art deco architectural design, it is one of the largest theatres in London. Its curved shape and green and silver interior has helped to make it an iconic landmark building in the West End for over 100 years. We feel truly honoured that we have been trusted to capture such an important chapter in the theatre’s history.

Lyric Theatre Time-lapse

The Hammersmith Lyric Theatre approached us to film the refurbishment of the main house auditorium and studio. The theatre has been welcoming the world’s leading writers, producers and directors for 125 years as a leading venue for experimental theatre. Their multi-million pound redevelopment of the site saw a large scale modernisation of the building and an extension to the west of the main building. We were on hand to offer our systems to capture this project in exquisite detail. The theatre used our photography for in-house communications as-well as for marketing purposes to showcase the important work that they have done.

Rows of red velvet cinema chairs surrounding a stage. Time-lapse of theatres.

Time-lapse photography of Grange Park Opera

We once also captured the ground-breaking construction of Grange Park Opera House, which The Times Art Awards acknowledged as the ‘fastest construction of an opera house in history’. This five-tiered auditorium takes architectural inspiration from Milan’s La Scala and is built in the beautiful 350-acre estate of West Horsley Place. Using our specialised custom built time-lapse cameras we were able to seamlessly capture this stunning building’s construction. We had a number of cameras taking footage inside and outside of the venue to cover every detail of this unique build, the results looked stunning and acted as a document of this wonderful project.


We captured the refurbishment of the BFI IMAX in London Waterloo, which is home to Britain’s largest cinema screen. Watching a film here is a completely immersive experience and the auditorium can comfortably seat 500 people using leading sound and projection technology. Our time-lapse cameras artfully showcased the full-scale of the project and the stunning re-visioning of this space.

Hull Venue

We have also worked with BAM Construction and Hull City Council to film the full construction of the Bonus Arena, in Hull. Featuring a luxurious conference room, 600-person capacity auditorium, VIP lounge and a screening room auditorium able to seat 800 people, this state-of-the-art music and events complex is truly versatile. Providing a number of our custom-made cameras we were able to document the many intricacies of this project through to its completion.

BFI Theatre – 2016 London Film Festival

Another one of our highly prestigious projects was the capture of the construction of a temporary cinema at London’s Victoria Embankment Gardens to celebrate the 60th BFI London film festival. We installed two of our systems which captured the full exterior construction and the internal fit out of the venue. Our clients needed to continually communicate the progress of their project via social media and utilised our quick turnaround progress edits throughout the construction. As we understand that many of our clients use our work for their marketing, we always work as hard as we can to ensure that they can optimise our materials to this end. Our clients love how they can have on-demand progress edits and high quality still images as a project progresses.

A temporary outdoor cinema constructed for the BFI's 60th anniversary.

Odeon Cinemas

We have worked extensively with ODEON cinemas, capturing many of their re-furbishments at a number of their sites in the United Kingdom, including at their flagship venue on Leicester Square. This allowed them to document all the many aspects of this major investment. Our systems are always fully monitored and managed and we offer our in-house developed IRiS viewing platform to all of our clients. Our online portal allows our clients to view in real time the progress of a project, which is perfect if there are a range of different sites.

Odeon cinema chairs and screen.

Royal Albert Hall

Perhaps one of the most prestigious and well-known theatres we have worked for is The Royal Albert Hall. We have captured a number of events and projects at the iconic venue. We documented the ‘Great Excavation’ which involved the south-west quarter of the property being excavated to create a two-storey double height basement. Our highly skilled and accredited engineers had to design a bespoke free-standing system to ensure that fixings were sympathetic to this historic grade I listed building. This project marked the 150th birthday of the hall, and its 1000m2 expansion was created to accommodate a visitors’ café, an office area, and a multi-purpose outreach space, all to ensure that the hall continued to remain an important cultural centre.

But our highest profile project was to record ‘A Year in the Life of The Royal Albert Hall’ achieving well in access of 100,000 views on YouTube. This project captured 390 performances and events; the full range of shows that took place on one of the world’s most famous stages. Our team remotely micromanaged the entire project to ensure the highest possible quality. This was a significant challenge due to the constant lighting changes and the range and dynamism of different events and performances. Our team worked tirelessly to ensure that these challenges were met with the best possible solutions for the project. Our work was viewed worldwide and helped the Royal Albert Hall to draw attention to their magnificent venue.

The Royal Albert Hall showing the full auditorium and the vast number of audience attendees. The Time-lapse of theatres.


Theatre Royal Drury Lane Time-lapse

 When LW Theatres asked us to capture the Christmas transformation of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, we were very excited. Built under Royal Charter by King Charles II, this space has been making theatre history for over 400 years. It was the first public space that audiences got to hear the National Anthem and Rule Britannia! for the first time and has been visited by every reigning monarch since the restoration. Over the course of two days the theatre’s teams carefully and artfully created an awe-inspiring festive display to welcome audiences and we captured every step in this process. Our videos perfectly articulate the scale and progress of change in a particular location.

Time-lapsing Christmas at Theatre Royal Drury Lane. The time-lapse of theatres.

The range of projects above show our versatility meeting any challenge throughout these spaces, which are some of the world’s most recognisable venues. Please look at other examples of our work and feel free to get in touch if you would like more information about the services we offer.


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Time-Lapse Systems are a part of Hideaway Media Ltd (est. 2007). World leader in the provision of bespoke time-lapse capture and site monitoring solutions. UK and Worldwide.