One of the owners of Brockley’s chandelier hung-ballroom say it is “news to me” that the venue has been put up for sale for £7.5 million.
Bill Mannix, 72, who has run the much-loved Rivoli Ballroom, in Brockley Road with wife Jeanie for more than 30 years, says he is “astonished” to hear the ballroom is listed on a property website.
The couple previously put the ballroom - one of the last in the capital - on the market in 2007 over rising costs of maintaining and preserving the building as well as concerns about Mr Mannix’s health.
But the sale was halted after the 1950s ballroom was given Grade II-listed status by English Heritage in 2008, meaning it cannot be demolished or altered without planning authority permission.
Mr Mannix said: “We were astonished when someone rang up.
“It is all news to me. I am a little bit shell-shocked.”
He says the building will be on sale in the future but there is a programme of events happening at the moment.
“It will be on sale in the future and there is an interested party.
“There are a lot of people who really love the place. It does bring business to the area. We get some very big events here. It is a community hall.”
The much-loved venue started life as the Crofton Park Picture Palace in July 1913 and work began to convert it into a ballroom in 1957.
It reopened on Boxing Day 1959 with a large sprung maple dance floor and has since become famous for its preserved original red velvet decor and interior fittings including chandeliers, Chinese lanterns and glitter balls.
The venue regularly hosts live music and dance nights and has also been the location for filming, photoshoots and music videos.
Celebrities including film star Brad Pitt and model Kate Moss have passed through the ballroom's doors over the years with sections of BBC's hit programme Strictly Come Dancing also filmed at the Rivoli.
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