Rivoli Ballroom/Peter Dazeley

Things To Do

Hattie Lloyd 27/01/23

The Rivoli Ballroom

The Rivoli Ballroom | An Intact 1950s Dancehall

Ask someone in East London where the nearest ballroom is, and they’ll probably point you towards Ballie Ballerson.

Ask someone in South-East London, though, and they’ll direct you to the Rivoli: a gloriously evocative 1950s dancehall in Brockley.

It’s the only one left of its kind in London, and the interiors are amazingly intact. The place has barely been touched in the past 75 years, right down to the signs pointing the way to the bar. But it’s no dusty old relic: the Rivoli’s understated glamour has set the scene for everything from Killing Eve to The Muppets, and every week the place is filled with music and dancing.

From the outside, it doesn’t look like much. It has a plain art deco exterior (dating back to its origins as a cinema), and signs promising ‘Dancing Tonight’. But step inside, and you’ll feel transported back half a century – from the wood-panelled foyer to the old-school bars lining the main hall, with intimate booths and retro prints on the walls. Then, there’s the ballroom itself: a vision of scarlet damask wallpaper; velvet drapes; chandeliers and oversized lanterns; with a Canadian maple sprung dancefloor.

Rivoli Ballroom cinema

The Rivoli reverts to its old form as a picturehouse a couple of times a year (especially around Valentine’s Day, Hallowe’en and Christmas), when it hosts pop-up screenings of cult movies. But it’s still first and foremost a place for dancing, with a regular line-up of themed nights every month – from jive lessons with live bands to vinyl Northern Soul nights; salsa, bachata and reggaeton; and throwback 70s tunes and cabaret performances at Rouges Disco.

Most treasured of all are the Rivoli’s sell-out New Year’s Eve parties, where generations of locals get together and do the hokey-cokey.

And isn’t that what it’s all about?


NOTE: To see what’s on next at the Rivoli, and to book tickets, head HERE.

Rivoli Ballroom | 350 Brockley Road, Crofton Park, SE4 2BY

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The Rivoli Ballroom

350 Brockley Road, Brockley, Brockley, SE4 2BY