The practice was established by Thomas Verity in 1871 when he won an open competition for the design of The Criterion, a theatre and restaurant complex in London’s Piccadilly Circus, for the caterers Spiers and Pond. Now a Grade II* Listed building The Criterion continues as a leading west end theatre and restaurant www.criterionrestaurant.com
Thomas was then subsequently commissioned to design other London theatres including The Royal Comedy in Panton Street, The Pandora in Leicester Square, The Novelty in Great Queen Street, and The Royalty, Soho.
When Thomas’ son Frank joined the practice they designed the splendid pavilion at Lords Cricket Ground and the Scala Theatre in Bloomsbury which, between 1911 and 1913, became a cinema screening Charles Urban’s Kinemacolour shows.
After Thomas’ death, Frank Verity retained the firm’s theatrical connections including designing the Theatre Royal, Windsor.
Sam Beverley, Frank Verity’s son-in-law, joined the firm in the early 1920’s – the start of the great period of cinema construction. Between 1920 and 1939 Verity & Beverley designed many cinemas for Paramount throughout the British Isles, as well as in Paris, and in 1930 the Shepherds Bush Pavilion cinema was awarded a Royal Institute of British Architects bronze medal. Both the Plaza in Lower Regent Street and The Carlton in Haymarket, London, remain notable examples with rich, almost baroque, interior décor with Florentine antique furniture in the foyers.
Sam Beverley’s son-in-law, Anthony Denny became a Partner of the firm in 1959 during the construction of the Pavilion Theatre, Weymouth and, following Sam’s death in that year, continued the firm in partnership with Michael Hitchman.
In 1978 Michael Hitchman retired and it was then that David Butcher joined the firm, in partnership with Sir Anthony Denny.
The partnership continued the strong traditions of the practice until Sir Anthony retired as partner in 2001 and David Butcher’s retirement in 2010. Sadly Sir Anthony passed away in 2013.
The current practice, Verity & Beverley Ltd, is managed by Isabelle Bishop (Managing Director), Nathan Elphick (Finance Director & Practice Manager), Deon Ludeman (Technical Director) and Associate Directors Sophie Towl and Stuart Hill.