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Saving a Cherished Ballroom

Friday 11 January 2008 @ 17:02 - GMT

A conservation watchdog has stepped in to rescue London's Rivoli Ballroom from the bulldozers.

Acting in record time, English Heritage has slapped a Grade 2 listing on the building, to protect its ''rare and exotic'' interior. This means planning permission will now be needed for any change of use.

The dramatic intervention came as 1700 people backed a campaign on the social networking Web site Facebook to raise £10m to buy the ballroom - matching offers made to the current owners by property developers.

Built in 1913, the venue became a ballroom in the fifties.

It later became a popular place to film movies and videos, an example of the latter being I Guess That's Why They Call it The Blues.