The theatre was built in 1898 on the corner of Union Street and Phoenix Street, for the joint owners, United Counties Theatres Limited and Horace and Lechmere Livermore (the “Livermore Brothers”), to replace the original Palace of Varieties which had operated at the nearby St. James’s Hall since 1866.

By 1994, the building was owned by Graham Blow, a businessman from Lancashire, who was unsuccessfully seeking Government assistance to refurbish the building. 

The building was then sold to an Iranian businessman and club owner, Manouchehr Bahmanzadeh, who renamed it “The Dance Academy”.

on May 7, 2006, around 140 officers raided the venue as they executed a closure order made by Plymouth City Council’s antisocial behavior unit.

Like the recently closed ‘fabric’ nightclub in London, the council and police claimed the Dance Academy was rife with Class A drugs purportedly linked to the dance-music culture the club promoted.

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