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Theatres and Halls in Halifax, Yorkshire

The Palace Theatre - The Theatre Royal - The Grand Theatre / Gaiety Theatre - The Victoria Theatre / Victoria Hall - The Playhouse

See also York Theatres

Arthur Lloyd is known to have performed in Halifax in 1871

 

The Playhouse Theatre, King Cross Street, Halifax

A Google StreetView image of the Playhouse Theatre, Halifax - Click to Interact

Above - A Google StreetView image of the Playhouse Theatre, Halifax - Click to Interact

The Playhouse Theatre, on King Cross Street, Halifax, was built in 1949 and was a conversion from a former 19th century Methodist Church. The church interior was gutted, apart from its decorative plaster ceiling, and a new auditorium and stage house was then constructed within the space, designed by the local architect Messrs Pickles. The Theatre has seating for 291 on one level comprising of raked stalls and three alcoves at the rear.

The stage of the Playhouse is flat with a small apron and is 26 feet wide and 18 feet deep, and although there are two fly floors, one on each side of the stage house, there is no grid so all scenery has to be hung from I-beams in the ceiling by hemps and winches.

You may like to visit the Theatre's own website here.

If you have any more information or images for this Theatre that you are willing to share please Contact me.

 

The Victoria Theatre, Fountain Street, Halifax
Formerly - The Victoria Hall / The Civic Theatre

 An early postcard of the Victoria Hall, later the Civic Theatre / Victoria Theatre

Above - An early postcard of the Victoria Hall, later the Civic Theatre / Victoria Theatre

The Victoria Theatre, Halifax in December 2010 - Courtesy Tim Speechley. The Victoria Theatre, on the junction between Fountain Street and Commercial Street, Halifax is a reconstruction of the former Victoria Hall which was designed by the architect W. Clement Williams and originally built in 1901 as a Concert Hall.

The Victoria Hall had a platform at one end which was framed by a proscenium and even though it was primarily designed for concerts, it was intended as a home for theatrical productions as well.

Right - The Victoria Theatre, Halifax in December 2010 - Courtesy Tim Speechley.

In 1964 the building was converted for full time theatrical use by the adding of a fully equipped fly tower by the Local Council and was reopened originally as the Civic Theatre.

 

The Victoria Theatre, Halifax in December 2010 - Courtesy Tim Speechley. The Theatre's auditorium has two semi circular balconies backed by a similarly shaped rear wall, the balconies extending along to a wide proscenium.

The Victoria Theatre is a Grade II Listed building and home to a varied programme including touring productions, concerts, ballet, comedy, family shows, drama, and an annual pantomime.

Left - The Victoria Theatre, Halifax in December 2010 - Courtesy Tim Speechley.

You may like to visit the Theatre's own website here.

If you have any more information or images for this Theatre that you are willing to share please Contact me.

 

The Grand Theatre, North Bridge, Halifax

Formerly - The Gaiety Theatre

An early postcard view of the Grand Theatre, Halifax

Above - An early postcard view of the Grand Theatre, Halifax

The Grand Theatre on North Bridge, Halifax was designed by the renowned Theatre Architect, Frank Matcham, and built in 1888 / 89 as a replacement for the earlier wooden Gaiety Theatre on the same site, which was destroyed by fire earlier that year. The Grand Theatre was faced with bricks with stone dressings externally and the Theatre's auditorium had three balconies with boxes.

The Theatre opened on the 5th of August 1889 with a production of 'Claudian' by Wilson Barrett and his Company, and the ERA printed a review of the building in their 10th of August edition saying: 'This handsome building - which for design, solidity of construction, tastefulness of furnishing and decoration, and completeness of appointments both before and behind the curtain compares favourably with any house in the provinces - was opened, on Bank Holiday, by Mr Wilson Barrett and company, when Claudian was played for the first time in Halifax. The theatre, which has been erected on the site of the wooden building known as the Gaiety Theatre, is Gothic in design, and is built throughout of Yorkshire stone. The architect is Mr Frank Matcham, who is to be complimented on his success. The theatre will hold about 2,000 persons, and there is seating accommodation for 1,650. The means of exit are exceptionally good, the site being favourable to the architect in this respect. Crimson velvet has been used in the upholstering of the boxes, stalls, and circles; the corridors are laid with Brussels carpets; and the walls of the circles are papered in crimson and gold. The internal decorations have all been carried out by Messrs Jonas Binns and Sons, of Halifax, the prevailing colour being electric blue on a cream ground relieved with gold. Behind the curtain the comfort of the artists has been well looked after, the dressing-rooms being fitted with every convenience. On the stage the latest appliances are in use, and an iron curtain shuts off the stage from the auditorium. At the foot of the front staircase facing the entrance to the auditorium a memorial-stone is built into the wall, whereon, in letters of gold, is the following inscription:

NEW GRAND
THEATRE AND OPERA HOUSE.
THIS STONE WAS LAID BY
Ma WILSON BARRETT,
ON NOVEMBER 27TH, 1888,
IN THE PRESENCE OF ALDERMAN JAMES BOOTH, ESQ., MAYOR.

Then follow the names of the directors, managing director, and secretary. On the wall of the corridor, at the back of the dress circle, is also a tablet, whereon is told how the theatre was opened by Mr Wilson Barrett and his London company on Aug. 5th, 1889. The initial performance was under the patronage and presence of the Mayor (Alderman James Booth, J.P.), the Mayoress, and representatives of the leading families in the district. The house was crowded in all parts, and the audience followed the play with great interest, and were quick to seize the various points and ready in their appreciation of the acting.


Mr Wilson Barrett had a most enthusiastic reception on his entry as Claudian, the ringing cheers continuing for some time, and proving how great is his popularity in the town which was the scene of his early struggles and successes, Miss Eastlake and Mr George Barrett were also most cordially welcomed. Mr Barrett received excellent support from his company, and the piece was mounted with the completeness of detail for which he has so long been noted. Miss Eastlake and Mr Barrett were recalled each time the curtain fell, and at the close of the performance the audience rose to their feet and greeted Mr Barrett with loud cheers. When they had subsided, Mr Barrett, in feeling terms, thanked the audience for the good old Yorkshire welcome given to him and his company, and congratulated the town of Halifax on possessing so charming a theatre.

Of its acoustic properties he could speak most favourably, and altogether he felt that the town of Halifax owed a debt of gratitude to its Mayor for the very great and active interest he had manifested in its erection. He (Mr Barrett) had often said that recreation was as necessary for the mind as food for the body. The stream that cannot flow in the sunlight will find some underground channel, and employers of labour might be sure that if wholesome amusements were not provided for their people they would seek pleasure in dark corners where the light cannot shine. No recreation was more wholesome than the drama, and from plays of healthy interest and noble purpose nought but good could ensue. So great, indeed, was the intellectual and moral influence of a good drama that he felt it to be the duty of the guardians of morality in the case of a play, if admitted to be good, to, as far as possible, induce the people to go and see it. In conclusion, Mr Wilson Barrett said that he felt very grateful for the double honour that had been done him in allowing him to open as well as lay the foundation stone of a theatre to which he so ardently wished prosperity. They all must know how dear Halifax was to him from his earliest days, and it was his great hope that the friendly relations between himself and the town would not only exist for a very long time to come, but if possible grow warmer and warmer as the years went by. Mr Frank Matcham, the architect, and Mr A. Grimmett, the managing director, were also called before the curtain, and briefly expressed their thanks. Ben-My-Chree and Hamlet are also in the bill for this week.'

Mary Moore's ballet shoes which she used to dance the Dying Swan at the Grand Theatre, Halifax in 1929, still in their original case, along with a copy of the programme - Courtesy Jill Wood.The above text in quotes was first published in the ERA, 10th August 1889.

The Grand Theatre opened on the 5th of August 1889 with a production of 'Claudian' by Wilson Barrett and his Company and then went on to stage plays, ballets, and the like for many years until it was converted for Cinema use in 1925. At this time the boxes were blocked off but the Theatre did still stage some live performances along with its film presentations.

Right - Mary Moore's ballet shoes which she used to dance the Dying Swan at the Grand Theatre, Halifax in 1929, still in their original case, along with a copy of the programme - Courtesy Jill Wood.

The Theatre was later converted back to full time live theatre use in 1940. Sadly, in 1956, after much of the ornamental plasterwork fell off the auditorium ceiling, and luckily when the Theatre was empty, the Grand was closed and never reopened again.

The Theatre was demolished in 1959, although even as late as 2004 the site remained empty with part of the rear wall of the stage still standing.

If you have any more information or images for this Theatre that you are willing to share please Contact me.

 

The Palace Theatre, Wards End and Southgate, Halifax

An early postcard showing the Palace Theatre and the Theatre Royal, Halifax

Above - An early postcard showing the Palace Theatre and the Theatre Royal, Halifax

Early Programme for the Palace and Hippodrome, Halifax - Courtesy Peter CharltonThe Palace Theatre, Halifax, Yorkshire was built on a prominent site on the junction of three streets in Halifax in 1903, and was designed by the architects Runtz and Ford.

Programme for The Palace Theatre, Halifax - August 4th 1947Runtz and Ford were also responsible for designing the Century Theatre on the Strand in London, later the site of the Adelphi Theatre, the Empire Theatre of Varieties, Hastings, the Crown Theatre in Peckham, the Pavilion Theatre, Stepney, the Royal Holborn Theatre of Varieties, the forth Theatre Royal, New Street, Birmingham, and the Middlesbrough Empire.

Right - An early Programme for the Palace and Hippodrome Theatre, as it was then called, Halifax - Courtesy Peter Charlton.

Left - A programme for a variety show at the Palace Theatre, Halifax on August the 4th 1947. The line up included Avon & Hall, Jill Summers, the Ramoni Brothers & Detrina, Paul Rogers, Jimmie Elliott, Will Hay Jnr., Billy Kay, and the Daysh Duo.

The main entrance to the Palace Theatre was on the corner of Ward’s End and Southgate and had a small foyer with entrances to the stalls and circle. Other entrances and exits were fitted between the many shops which were slotted into the side elevations of the Theatre. The Theatre's raked stage was framed by a 'basket-arched' proscenium with a width of 29 feet.

The Theatre was altered in 1906 by Horsfall & Sons but demolished in 1958.

If you have any more information or images for this Theatre that you are willing to share please Contact me.

 

The Palace Theatre, Halifax which was built in 1903 by Runtz and Ford

Above - An early postcard showing the Palace Theatre, Halifax

 

The Theatre Royal and Opera House,Ward’s End, Southgate, Halifax, West Yorkshire

A Sketch of the Theatre Royal, Halifax - From The Building News and Engineering Journal, October 21st 1904

Above - A Sketch of the Theatre Royal, Halifax - From The Building News and Engineering Journal, October 21st 1904

Theatre Royal Halifax - From a Postcard 1905The Theatre Royal, Halifax was built in 1905 and could seat up to 2,000 people on its opening. This large Theatre was constructed on the site of a smaller and earlier Theatre Royal, which had originally been built in 1789, and also on the site of the former Shakespeare Hotel, a shop, and several cottages. Many changes and improvements to the earlier Theatre were made over its life but the last performance to take place there was on March 5th, 1904.

An advertisement appeared in the Stage Newspaper in February 1904 advertising the sale of the earlier Theatre's Fireproof Curtain saying: 'To Theatre Proprietors. Wanted to Sell, splendid Iron Fireproof Curtain, size 21ft. deep by 22ft. 6in. wide by 3in. thick, made to work in two halves for Theatre, not high enough to fly ordinary curtain. Hydraulic power. Everything complete. Can be seen working at Theatre Royal, Halifax, which is being rebuilt next month. A rare chance for a good bargain. Act-Drop and Electric Plant also for Sale. For further particulars apply, Otto C. Oulling, Bury.' The Stage, Feb 4th 1904.

Right - The Theatre Royal Halifax from a postcard produced in its opening year of 1905.

The Building News and Engineering Journal reported on soon to be constructed new Theatre Royal, Halifax in their October 21st 1904 edition, along with the sketch shown above and the plan shown below, saying:- 'This building, of which we give a view and plan will occupy the site of the present theatre, including the Old Shakespeare Hotel, the shop adjoining, and four cottages, &c., in Shakespeare-street.

The site is rectangular and open on three sides. The dress circle of principal floor is five steps above the level of Southgate, and the principal entrances are from that street. What might be called the ground floor of the theatre comprises the orchestra stalls, pit stalls, and pit, all with separate entrances and exits, whilst separate lavatory and cloakroom accommodation for ladies and gentlemen is provided for each class of seat. This separate cloakroom accommodation is provided far each class of seat throughout the house. Special provision has been made for easy transfers from pit to orchestra and pit stalls, also from pit stalls to upper circle without having to leave the house or to get back to the box office.

The floor of pit and stalls from back of auditorium will have a good fall towards the stage, thus obtaining good sighting, and reducing the picture-hat trouble to a minimum. The dress circle and orchestra stalls are entered from Southgate through the grand vestibule (wherein is situated the box office) into a spacious foyer or crush-room...

A Plan of the Theatre Royal, Halifax at Dress Circle Level - From The Building News and Engineering Journal, October 21st 1904

Above - A Plan of the Theatre Royal, Halifax at Dress Circle Level - From The Building News and Engineering Journal, October 21st 1904.

...There will be four rows of seats in the dress circle, with a spacious promenade round, and four rows of orchestra stalls. Four private boxes are provided - two at dress circle level and two at upper circle level, with separate staircases. The upper circle is reached from a wide staircase entering from Southgate, and will contain seven rows of seats. At this level is provided offices for the manager, also an office for the travelling manager to touring companies. All seats to orchestra and pit stalls and to dress and upper circles will be tip-up seats of the latest pattern and handsomely upholstered. The gallery entrance is from Southgate with an exit door at the other side, and will contain 12 rows of seats. The two circles will be carried on steel cantilevers, dispensing with columns, and thus insuring perfect sighting and an unobstructed view of the stage from all parts.

The auditorium is 54ft. deep and 57ft. wide, within inner walls, and outside these are corridors and staircases 5ft. wide up to outer wall. The ceiling will be about 50ft. above pit floor. The roof over auditorium will be carried by steel principals in one clear span. The proscenium arch is 30ft. wide and 30ft. high, and the stage has a clear depth of 37ft., and width of 69ft. The height of the grid is 50ft. above stage floor, and allows of the easy manipulation of all the largest scenery used by travelling companies on the road.

There are 11 dressing-rooms provided for the artists in close proximity to the stage, each fitted up with modern sanitary requirements. Ample workshops, property rooms, and other accommodation for the staff are provided behind the stage. The whole of the interior decoration will be carried out in a suitable manner, and it is intended to make this theatre internally considered one of the most comfortable in the provinces. The staircases throughout are fireproof as well as the partitions to the dressing rooms. The precautions against fire will be of such a character as to satisfy the latest stringent requirements of the authorities. The building has been designed by, and is being carried out under the superintendance of, Messrs. Richard Horsfall and Son, architects, of Halifax.'

An amendment to the above text was published in the same Journal the following week saying:- 'In our description last week of the New Theatre Royal, Halifax, we omitted to state that the constructional steelwork for the same was executed by Messrs. Drew-Bear, Perks, and Co., Ltd., 71a Queen Victoria-street, E.C.'

The above text in quotes was first published in the Building News and Engineering Journal, October 21st and 28th 1904.

An early postcard showing the Theatre Royal, and the Palace Theatre, Halifax

Above - An early postcard showing the Theatre Royal, and the Palace Theatre, Halifax

The new Theatre Royal was opened by Ald. Enoch Robinson, the Mayor of Halifax on Friday afternoon, the 4th of August 1905. Having sold off the old fire curtain the newly rebuilt Theatre was equipped with a new Ajax Fire Curtain which would turn out to be rather fortuitous as the Theatre would be the subject of a major fire on the 5th of February 1927, which, had it not been for the new fire curtain, the auditorium may not have been saved. The fire destroyed the stage and backstage areas but the auditorium escaped with little damage, see images below.

 

In front and Behind the Ajax Fire Curtain installed at the Theatre Royal Halifax, after the fire on the 5th of February 1927 - Courtesy Roger Fox and David Spink.

Above - In front and Behind the Ajax Fire Curtain installed at the Theatre Royal Halifax, after the fire on the 5th of February 1927 - Courtesy Roger Fox and David Spink. The images are from a John Mallin & Co. Ltd card for their Ajax Fire Curtains, the back of which read 'The following unsolicited testimonial was received from the owners of the Theatre. Extract: - "I do not think that you have had a curtain more severely tested than the one installed at the above Theatre. There is not the slightest doubt that the curtain saved the whole building from being gutted. We shall certainly instal another of your curtains when the Theatre is rebuilt." Signed Norman R. Booth, managing director, the Northern Theatres Ltd.

 

A programme for a production of 'Romance' by Edward Sheldon at the Theatre Royal, Halifax in October 1919.After the fire in February 1927, the fire damaged portions were soon rebuilt and the Theatre was reopened again on the 12th of September 1927.

The Theatre was later converted to a Cinema in 1933, destroying much of the interior and stage. The Cinema then became a Bingo Hall in 1966, closing in 1992.

In 1999 the Theatre was converted to a themed entertainment café called La Manía, and in 2004, a nightclub called Club Platinum. However, the Theatre then remained empty for a number of years and proposals to convert it into a Hotel in 2008 came to nothing and the building has remained empty ever since.

Right - A programme for a production of 'Romance' by Edward Sheldon at the Theatre Royal, Halifax in October 1919.

The following text and images are from a Souvenir Programme for the Theatre, dated 12th September 1927 (displayed below) produced on the reopening of the Theatre Royal, Halifax, after a fire had destroyed the stage on February 5th 1927.

Time is the Judge: time has nor friend, nor foe:
False fame will wither, and the true will grow.

NOTES RELATING TO THE HISTORY OF THE THEATRE ROYAL, HALIFAX.

DURING the reign of King George the Third the foundation stone of the Old Theatre Royal at Wards End was laid, September 12th 1789. There is obscurity with regard to the years preceding this date, but it is known that rooms over the stables of the White Lion Inn were occupied previously and that many national dramatic stars, including the Kembles visited the town.

It is interesting to recall that " when the project was formed of building a new stately theatre in the Haymarket, London, in the year 1706, Sir John Vanbrugh raised a subscription of 30 persons of quality, at one hundred pounds each in consideration whereof every subscriber, for his own life, was to be admitted to whatever entertainments should be publicly performed there, without further payment for his entrance." Similarly in Halifax the promoters of the 1789 Theatre Royal had a like facility the pass being a silver ticket in the shape of a half-crown and bearing the words " Halifax Theatre." The promoters were Messrs. Thomas Stopford, George Woodhead, William Walker, John Walker, William Newby, Robert Alexander, Joshua Hamer, Robert Swaine, Richard Royds, Joseph Edwards, Charles Hudson, and John Mitchell.

 

A Souvenir Programme for the Theatre Royal, Halifax, dated 12th September 1927.The repertory movement of recent years has its counterpart in the method of 140 years ago-stock companies were the order of the day. Actors and actresses lived in a town and played week after week, varying the fare as occasion demanded. The circuit system was also in operation. The theatrical season was short, lasting about twelve weeks during the winter months-the days of performances being three per week. In these early days Shakespeare's plays were frequently in the bill-" Hamlet," " Othello." " Cymbeline," etc., were strong favourites. It should be mentioned that " a murderer's skull who was hanged in chains on Beacon Hill was part of the theatre property, and was used in the gravediggers scene in Hamlet." Plays of the melodramatic type-" The Gamester," " The Road to Ruin," etc., were very popular.

There is a small quarto bill of the year 1800 or thereabouts, containing an interesting announcement :

"NEW THEATRE, HALIFAX.

Messrs. Taylor and Robertson present their respectful duty to the Ladies and Gentlemen of Halifax, its environs, and the public in general, they beg leave to inform them that they have, at a very considerable expense, purchased the Theatrical Property of Mr. Pero ; and hope they shall not be thought too presumptuous, if they flatter themselves that they have selected a company that will be approved of."

Amongst the performers engaged are, Mr. Hamerton, from the Theatre Royal, Dublin and York; Mr. Manley, from the Theatre Royal, Windsor; Miss Robinson, from the Theatre Royal, Liverpool; Mr. and Mrs. Thorne, Mr. Darley, Mr. Helme, and Mr. Taylor, from the Theatres Royal, Drury Lane and Covent Garden. It will be noted the players all come from important centres and that five of the members were from Drury Lane. The repertoire of plays to be given is interesting : " The Mountaineers," " The Jew," " Fontainville Forest," " Heigho for a Husband," " The World in a Village," " Auld Robin Grey ... . Sprigs of Lousel," " The Prize," " The Purse," " My Grandmother," " Hartford Bridge," and an entire New Pantomime. The bill further states that " No trouble or expense will be spared in rendering the entertainments of the Theatre agreeable to a liberal and candid audience : and they humbly hope their wishes to please will be accepted, and their endeavours crowned with success." This statement also has a special application now in the year 1927.

A Souvenir Programme for the Theatre Royal, Halifax, dated 12th September 1927.In the early days, plays with a local atmosphere appear to have been popular. In the year 1795 a play entitled " Effusions of Loyalty: or Halifax on a Field Day " was produced. One of the scenes depicted the old Halifax Cloth Hall with a display of the Volunteer Corps as accessories. In the same year a comic song : " Halifax is the very devil " was sung by a man named Yarnold. Two years later, in 1797, " The Pretty Girl of Halifax " was staged. A play bill of 1802 states that " Mr. Holmes will take his benefit on Friday evening, December 17th, and there will be presented (not acted here these 6 years) the favourite Comedy of 'The Deserted Daughter'; in the cast Mr. and Mrs. Manly and Mr. and Mrs. Robertson appear ; after the play a Dance called the Wapping landlady will be given " ; there were also various comic songs, a Hornpipe, and the addition of the favourite entertainment "Of Age Tomorrow." "Tickets may be had of Mr. Holmes, at T. Kershaw's, Hairdresser, Petticoat Lane, and at Jacobs' Printing Office-where places for the Boxes may be taken." It is to be noted that Doors opened at halfpast Five and the performances began at Six-thirty. Mr. Robertson must have been a versatile personality for we find that in 1814 he painted a scene representing rejoicings in Halifax. There was a view of Mr. Rawson's house and gardens, a fire and an ox-roasting and in the background, the old dispensary, Mr. Sharpe's buildings, the old Church, and the then verdant hills. Many theatrical stars of the period came to Halifax; amongst these were, in 1826, - Miss Foote, afterwards Countess of Harrington, in 1836 Mrs. Nisbett "the finest comedienne of the present century"-this lady later became Lady Boothby. Mr. Kcan junior in 1830, whilst in March, 1832, the celebrated Edmund Kean made his final appearance. The Mr. Manly previously mentioned was an eccentric personality-he was a proficient swearer, and a little lame. It is recorded that every night Mr. Manly used to send to Mrs. Murfitts, near the Piece Hall, for two veal pies-one for himself and one for his dog. His favourite character was Shylock, and it is worthy of record that a young member of his company, Charles Macready, who afterwards rose to national fame, modelled his rendering of the character upon that of Manly.

A Souvenir Programme for the Theatre Royal, Halifax, dated 12th September 1927.In February, 1833, a play " Dennis, or the Gibbet Law of Halifax," was acted. It was written by Mr. Nantz who then had control of the theatre and was played during the visit of Mrs. Manly. The advertisement contained the usual felicitations to the Nobility, Gentry, and Public of Halifax and continued with a description of this local Tragic Drama-based upon historical data. In Act 2, Scene 5, " There will be exhibited a Facsimile of the Real Gibbet and Axe." In Scene 6 the "Well i' th' Wall Street," and in the last scene " Sanctuary Bridge, crossing the Salterhebble Brook, and with a view of the Beacon Hill and the Forest of Hardwic "-the piece terminating with the death of the real criminal. The prices of admission were Boxes 3s.; Upper Boxes 2s. 6d. ; Pit 2S.; Gallery is. Doors open at 6 and the Curtain rises at 7 o'clock."

Up to the year 1824, candles were the sole source of illumination and on January 26th of that year considerable improvement was made by the installation of gas. The theatre was the centre of much local activity-it was a spot for outbursts of loyalty. In 1793, when George III was at war with France, a Mrs. Mason dressed as Britannia recited an " Ode to His Majesty " amidst scenes of intense enthusiasm. Similarly in 1840 there were great doings when fireworks were let off on the stage to celebrate the marriage of Queen Victoria. In 1841 considerable internal alterations were made to the theatre and the management of the period had no hesitation in asserting that " This theatre will be found to be one of the neatest and most comfortable in the kingdom."

The last performance to take place in that structure was in Old Kentucky," on March 5th, 1904. The new theatre which took its place was opened by Ald. Enoch Robinson, Mayor of Halifax, on the afternoon of Friday, August 4th, 1905 -a company of 1,500 people being present, the first public performance being given by the Halifax Amateur Operatic Society, who staged the ever popular " Mikado." August 14th marked the first professional performance, Mr. Charles Stewatt's company appearing in the comedy " Our Flat." The history of the theatre from 1905 is well enough known to most people and does not need recounting.

The present important structural alterations and improvements have been carried out, in the necessary reconstruction after the fire which destroyed the stage, etc., on February 5th of this year, when Mr. Frank Curzon's Company were producing Edgar Wallace's sensational play " The Ringer."

The present development of the theatre enables the management still to say that the Theatre Royal, Halifax is one of the " neatest, most comfortable, and modern in the kingdom."

The above text and images are from a Souvenir Programme for the Theatre Royal, Halifax, dated 12th September 1927, in which an acknowledgment is made Mr. Clifford Ramsden, of "Halifax Courier and Gaurdian", for the kindly loan of reference matter, which has been freely drawn upon, for the foregoing notes.

A Google StreetView Image of the Theatre Royal, Halifax - Click to Interact

Above - A Google StreetView Image of the Theatre Royal, Halifax - Click to Interact

The Theatre Royal was converted to a Cinema in 1933, destroying much of the interior and stage. The Cinema then became a Bingo Hall in 1966, closing in 1992. In 1999 the Theatre was converted to a themed entertainment café called La Manía, and in 2004, a nightclub called Club Platinum. However, the Theatre then remained empty for a number of years and proposals to convert it into an Hotel in 2008 came to nothing and the building has remained empty ever since.

If you have any more information or images for this Theatre that you are willing to share please Contact me.

Archive newspaper reports on this page were collated and kindly sent in for inclusion by B.F.

 

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