Home Page
The Music Hall and Theatre History Website

 

Home - Index - Forum - Contact

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Chelsea Palace Theatre, 232 - 242 Kings Road, Chelsea

Formerly - The Chelsea Palace of Varieties

An early postcard depicting the Chelsea Palace Theatre

Above - An early postcard depicting the Chelsea Palace Theatre

 

An early postcard depicting the Chelsea Palace Theatre.The Chelsea Palace Theatre on the Kings Road in Chelsea was designed by Wylson and Long and built for the Chelsea Palace Syndicate as a variety Theatre by the contractor C. T. Kearly.

The Theatre originally opened as the Chelsea Palace of Varieties on the 13th of April 1903 and had a seating capacity of 2, 524 on two levels, stalls and pit, and one gallery with boxes.

Right - An early postcard depicting the Chelsea Palace Theatre.

The Theatre was taken over by Granada Theatres in 1951 but was not converted for cinema use, instead carrying on with live entertainment.

 

A variety programme for the Chelsea Palace Theatre A variety programme for the Chelsea Palace Theatre A variety programme for the Chelsea Palace Theatre

Above - A variety programme for the Chelsea Palace Theatre for Monday, February the 2nd, 1914, with Albert Chevalier and George Formby on the Bill.

Details from a variety programme for the Chelsea Palace Theatre for Monday, February the 2nd, 1914

Above - Details from a variety programme for the Chelsea Palace Theatre for Monday, February the 2nd, 1914, featuring Mabel Thorne, Idento Bros, Belle Davis, Albert Chevalier, George Hatton & the Bell- Hattons, Molly Wells, Shirley & Ransome, George Formby, Polly & Day, and the Palace Bioscope.

 

A Bill for 'Jack and the Beanstalk' from the Panto Season at the Chelsea Palace Theatre in 1950/51 - Courtesy Tony Craig

Above - A Bill for 'Jack and the Beanstalk' from the Panto Season at the Chelsea Palace Theatre in 1950/51 - Courtesy Tony Craig whose mother Jessie Jewel is featured on the Bill along with Dan Leno Junior. Tony says ' Dan Leno (Junior) is Dame, Mom (Jessie Jewel) is Principal Boy. Mom played quite a number of Panto Seasons with Dan Jr, he was a truly lovely 'Dame' but he used to regularly lose his voice for the first few days of each Panto run so Mom would cover his lines for him till he re-gained his voice. A lot of the dialogue in Dan's Panto's was in rhyme (the very traditional Pantomime way).'

 

In August of 1957 Granada converted the Theatre into a Television studio producing such productions as 'The Army Game' and the variety show called 'Chelsea at Nine.' The Theatre also became host to several Television concerts including one which featured the Duke Ellington Orchestra in 1963.

The Theatre was used in this way for a few more years but was then sold to developers who demolished the Theatre and built a Heals Department store on the site.

Some of the above information was gleaned from the interesting website An incomplete history of London's Television Studios where you can see many photographs of the Theatre in its Television Studio guise.