The Queen's Theatre, Dublin was built on the site of several previous buildings of entertainment. The first on the site was the New Olympic Circus built by John Scott, which opened in 1823 and was demolished only six years later in 1829.
Left - Exterior of Queen's Theatre, from the detailed book: 'The Lost Theatres Of Dublin' by Philip B Ryan. Click the cover right to buy the book at Amazon.co.uk.
In 1909 the Theatre was remodeled and rebuilt by Stirling and reopened as the Queen's Theatre. In 1951 it was stated that the Queen's Theatre had a Proscenium arch, full flying facilities & orchestra pit and seated 904 on 4 levels. The Theatre became the temporary home of the Abbey Theatre Company between 1951 and 1966.
Right - A Programme for 'Friends and Relations' at the Abbey Theatre Dublin - 18th September 1950.
In 1966 the Queen's Theatre was closed when the Abbey Theatre Company moved out. In 1969 the Rank Organisation who then owned the building set about its demolition and a new building called Pearse House arose on the site. The site is now occupied by Trinity College teaching and research facilities.
A visitor to this site, John Greene, says that 'An interior
shot of the Queen's Theatre was included in the 1965 John Ford / Jack
Cardiff film 'The
Young Cassidy'. The film is a bio-pic of Sean O'Casey and as I recall
the scene it depicts is the night of the Plough and Stars riots. The
movie doesn't seem to have been revived on dvd.' - Courtesy John
Above - A modern office building now stands on the site of the former Queen's Theatre, Dublin. This was located on what was then called Brunswick Street but was renamed Pearse Street in the 1920's. The building is part of a larger block which houses part of the Department of Social Welfare. - Courtesy Des Kerins
On May 3rd 1874, owing to throat trouble, Arthur Lloyd had to give up singing, and therefore procured a three year lease of the Queens Dublin, which he opened as a music hall. Lloyds first pantomime being Jack and the Bean Stalk by Frank Green (shown left), afterwards producing two others, the last of the trio being a financial failure owing to the colossal success of the first production of The Shaughraun at the Gaiety Theatre. During his lesseeship of the Queens he engaged many well known actors, including Chas Sillivan, who often said that Lloyd was the man who was the cause of his popularity, Johnny Dallas, the MCarthy Family, T. C. King, the talented tragedian, John Billington, Tom Glenny, Joseph Eldred, Mrs Rousby (see below), besides many of the best music hall artists of the time.
The posters shown above are from a large collection of original Lloyd / King Posters collected since the mid 1800s by members of the family and found recently after being lost for 50 years. Click the posters to enlarge. To see all these posters see the Poster Index.
Right - Clara and Wybert Rousby - Conceive, ye pitiable beings who have not yet seen the original of our description, an actress possessing a charming presence - a fascinating manner - a voice clear, sweet, and resonant as marriage bells - wondrous power of pouring forth silvery peals of refreshingly natural laughter, and a graceful and unaffected style of acting - then you will have some idea of Mrs Rousby. The Era, London, Sunday, 8 October 1876 - Courtesy John Culme.
Above - From The Era Almanack of 1875:
Dublin - Queen's Theatre of Varieties. (Sole Lessee and Manager, Mr.
Arthur Lloyd.) Open every Evening with the best Company in Dublin.
Comedy, Concert, and Ballet. Always pleased to hear from first-class
Artistes, Ballet Troupes, Organised Companies, &c. Three days'
silence a courteous negative. The above is not a Music Hall, but a
first-class Theatre of Varieties, and the largest in Dublin.
Arthur Lloyd took a 3 year lease on The Queen's Theatre in 1874 and opened it on May the 3rd. The cutting below, showing just how enthusiastic he was for the venture, was printed in the Irish Times of 1874.
The Irish Times of 1874
In thanking the Nobility, Gentry, and inhabitants of Dublin and its vicinity for the many great kindnesses accorded him during his Annual Visits, with his Company, has the greatest pleasure in informing them that he has secured a Lease of the Queen's Theatre, situated in Brunswick street, and will shortly open it under the above title, Entirely re-decorated and Embellished, and will show all that human energy and modern enterprise can accomplish to this once popular Theatre to the highest vanguard of first class Excellence.
Right - Advertisement for Arthur Lloyd's Queen's Theatre of Varieties, Dublin from the Irish Times of 1875.
To suit the taste of all classes (who now-a days prefer a light and amusing kind of entertainment to the usual heavy Drama, &c Mr Arthur Lloyd has resolved that the nightly programme consist of Comedy, Concert, and Ballet.
The comfort of the visitors will not be a secondary consideration, as that will be as strictly looked after as the quality of Amusements.
Mr. Lloyd is pleased to indicate that Cloak Rooms, and Refreshment Saloons, will be provided and presided over by civil and experienced Officials, whose business it will be to see that every Visitor is made as happy as politeness and attention will permit. In the Saloons, Mr Arthur Lloyd assures the public that he will guarantee the quality of the articles.
Mr Arthur Lloyd, knowing the great assistance that first class Musicians can give to a first class entertainment has great pleasure in announcing that there will be an increased and thoroughly competent Orchestra, presided over by an able and experienced Conductor, who will introduce the best Overture and Dance Music, and also, each evening, perform a medley of the most popular Melodies of the day, both Comic and Sentimental.
To Conduct the "Queen's Theatre of Varieties" in a First Class Style, and to render it as second to none in or out of London, Mr Lloyd submits to the public the following Prices of Admission:-
Lower Circle, 3s; Upper Circle, 1s 6d; Pit, 1s; Gallery 6d; Private Boxes, 2 Guineas and 1 Guinea.
Children under Twelve Years of age Half Price only to the Lower Circle, 1 6d and Upper Circle, 1s.
No Second Price to any part of the Theatre.
As Mr Arthur Lloyd has provided in every way for the comfort and convenience of the Audience inside the Theatre, there will be no Pass-out Checks and no Readmission without Repayment.
Right - Advertisement for Arthur Lloyd's Queen's Theatre of Varieties, Dublin from the Irish Times of 1877.
The Text above is from The Irish Times of 1874.
Delarue Lloyd, Arthur Lloyd's brother, is also known to have performed at The Queen's Theatre, on the 26th of November 1881, and T. C. King, Arthur Lloyd's father in law, was playing Othello at the Queen's Theatre when the then relatively unknown Henry Irving was playing Cassio, in March of 1860.
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