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The Music Hall and Theatre History Site
Dedicated to Arthur Lloyd, 1839 - 1904.

 

The Alhambra Theatre, Queen Street - Southampton Street, Leicester

Formerly - Messrs Henry and Adam's Circus

And the Alhambra Music Hall, Belgrave Gate, Leicester

Formerly - Steven's New Circus

Leicester Theatres

There seems to have been two different Theatres called 'The Alhambra' in Leicester at different periods of time. The earliest reference is in September 1862 listed as 'The Alhambra Music Hall (late Circus) in Belgrave Gate Leicester.

Its previous Circus life in 1861 being 'Steven's New Circus.' Fleur-de-Lis grounds. Belgrave Gate. Stevens employed Mr & Mrs Palmer from 'Astley's' London, and the building was a large wooden building which it is said, 'could hold up to 2,000 people,' and was owned by Mr Edwin Croueste.

There appears to have been an unfortunate accident on September 2nd. Steven's son, 14 years of age, was dressed as a monkey and climbed rather too high on a rope, unfortunately his cotton hair caught on fire from one of the Gaslights, and he died the following day.

By 1862 the building had changed use to 'The Alhambra Music Hall' Belgrave Gate Leicester. Proprietor Mr Dan Cooke, and had been refitted with a large stage, and an auditorium consisting of pit, boxes, and gallery, all tastefully decorated and waterproof throughout. Open every evening at 7.0pm the programme commencing at 7.30pm. Prices were, Private Boxes one shilling (5p). Orchestra Stalls 6 pence (3p). Pit 4 pence (2p). Gallery 2 pence (1p). The Music Hall employed a large company of solo comic singers, pantomimists, ballet actors, and the usual artistes to be found as part of the Music Hall programme.

This Theatre is not listed again, but there seems to have been another 'Alhambra Theatre' in 1869 at Queen Street - Southampton Street, Leicester across the city. The first reference of this building was as Messrs Henry and Adam's Circus, but by 13th September 1869 is was being operated as 'The Alhambra'. The stage was very lofty and wide capable of staging ballet, horsemanship or any other type of fare. The work carried out was by Mr James Paul who also supplied the machinery. The Act Drop was painted by Mr W. Penninton, and the scenery was also by Mr W. Pennington and Mr Graves. The Music Hall was being run by Billy Paul, also the owner of the Midland Music Hall on the corner of Belgrave Gate and Wilton Street. In fact he seems to have transferred his cast each week, from the Alhambra over to the Midland Music Hall. However there is no mention of this 'Alhambra' after 1873 when it appears the proprietor Mr Sweeny, was again closing down and disbanding the company'.

The above article was written for this site by David Garratt and kindly sent in for inclusion in 2011. The article is © David Garratt 2011.

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