It had been leased and run by Festival Republic since 2000. The Astoria closed on the 15th of January 2009
The Astoria was built on the site of a former pickle factory and opened in 1927 as a cinema. It was later converted for theatrical use in 1976 and became an exclusively a music venue with a capacity of 2,000. The Astoria is connected to Astoria 2 such that the two venues can function as a single venue where needed. By far its busiest nights were the G-A-Y promotions; the final G-A-Y at the Astoria was held on July 26, 2008.
It has played host to many up-and-coming bands, such as Radiohead and Nirvana in 1989. The venue would also host world famous bands wishing to play low-profile shows, including U2 in 2001, The Rolling Stones in 2003, Pearl Jam in 2006 and Oasis's first performance of their 2005 tour. Blur also played a five-night residency in 2003. The venue plays host to the popular nightclub G-A-Y, which sees many celebrities visit and perform music for the assembled crowd.
Mean Fiddler acquired the lease for the London Astoria in May 2000, 'securing the future of live music at one of London's most famous rock 'n' roll venues.' It has since been the primary choice for well-established bands' intimate club gigs in London. Big names to have played the Astoria include: Metallica, The Cranberries, HIM, Nirvana, Arctic Monkeys, Muse, Ash, Blur, Radiohead, Funeral For A Friend,Dirty Pretty Things, Supergrass, Foo Fighters, Franz Ferdinand, Kasabian, Kaiser Chiefs, Killing Joke, Pendulum, The Libertines, Lostprophets, Megadeth, Martin Gore, Oasis, Amy Winehouse, Green Day, Rage Against the Machine, Sum 41, System of a Down and Geri Halliwell.
The Astoria was sold in June 2006 by Compco Holdings property group Derwent Valley Central for £23.75m, who were rumoured to be planning to convert the site into to a combination of shops, flats and offices to take advantage of an increase in property prices for the 2012 Olympics.
On the 13th of August 2007, Mean Fiddler completed its merger with the MAMA Group and no longer operates the Astoria or the Mean Fiddler venues. These have now been incorporated into the group's "Festival Republic" brand. The Mean Fiddler venue changed its name back to Astoria 2 shortly after this announcement.
The Astoria will be demolished to make way for Crossrail. Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone confirmed that the venue "can't be saved." A "Save the Astoria" campaign was created and run by two English students, in partnership with the Save the London Astoria campaign run by musician 50ft Woman, but was unable to change the outcome.
A replacement for the Astoria would then be developed by the council and leaseholders, with work due to start in late 2008, depending on Government funding.
During their record breaking 6 night residence at the venue, The Enemy's lead singer Tom Clarke announced that the Astoria has been given a 5 year lease.