Steeped in history Darlington Hippodrome is a centenarian of the town.

Formerly Darlington Civic Theatre, it was founded by Signor Rino Pepi’s, whose love of the stage took him into a management career with a chain of establishments across the North-East. The building is a beautiful example of Edwardian architecture and is one of Signor Rino Pepi few surviving theatres.

The Brief

An important part of the renovation was to preserve the theatre’s rich heritage by restoring much of its original features. Closed for more than a year for the £11.7m restoration to take place, the project included an increase in seating capacity, improved backstage facilities, the introduction of a new restaurant area and a new façade with a grand entrance. The brief was to enhance the character of the 109 year old theatre’s façade whilst creating a memorable identity for the building. The luminaires needed to be high quality, easily maintained (goes without saying) and to ensure there was no visual impact to the building the fittings needed to be discreet. So by day you wouldn’t even know they are there, but by night they are the star of the show. (Enter acdc stage left)

What we did

With over 20 meters of façade, BLADE MICRO fittings got to work on the external detailing of this Edwardian beauty.

BLADE with its neutral aesthetics, perfectly integrates into the architecture, during the day they sit quietly on the architectural ledges, (centre stage) then by night they graze a wall wash of light to highlight the archways of the windows, creating a lighting scheme to enhance the nocturnal view of the theatre.

Here’s the technical bit!!! BLADE MICRO is a powerful, wall grazing linear LED luminaire that provides an even wall wash of up to 10 metres, delivering up to 1500LM and 4100LM per metre. BLADE’S thermal management combined with efficient LEDs (>90 Lm/W), gives this luminaire a long life in excess of 50,000 hours and the IP67 rating assures durability in harsh environments.


Now complete, the newly named Hippodrome will become a key destination for the region that will cater for generations of theatre lovers.

The design also uses GALLI fittings to lead theatre goers into the space. GALLI has a range of optics available to suit all applications, on this occasion a focused beam was used to deliver a crisp “clean beam” effect.

This versatile little performer is available in flush or bezel mounted, and all LEDs are dual binned within a 2 step MacAdam ellipse to ensure colour consistency. (standard for acdc). IP68 rated GALLI can be installed in the most challenging of exterior environments. Perfect for our changeable northern weather.

à Thorn Lighting Ltd, Company Registration 00263866, VAT GB 626 8664 06