Theatres and Halls in Northampton
The Royal Theatre - Still in Theatrical Use
Derngate Theatre - Still in Theatrical Use
Theatre Royal and Opera House - Still in Theatrical Use
The Repertory Theatre - Still in Theatrical Use
Savoy Super Cinema - Still in Use
ABC Cinema - Still in Use
Jesus Centre - Still in Use
Alan Chudley writes: Just a few notes on Osborne Robinson, who was a brilliant designer and a highly respected and much loved character. Although Osborne did from time to time design for other theatres; he was known to have designed backcloths for the New Theatre Northampton; he was loathe to work away from his beloved Northampton Royal Theatre.
Right - The late Osborne Robinson, repainting the Royal Theatre's
ceiling circa 1960 - From a publicity handout of the then Northampton
Repertory Co. (Circa 1970) - Courtesy Alan
The centrepiece of Osborne's sets for Jack and The Beanstalk was Dame Durden's Cottage, at Guildford this became known as Dame Chart's Cottage after the master carpenter who supervised it's building. After the pantomime Dame Chart's Cottage was given to a local Children's home, as a play-house. - Alan Chudley.
Around 1935 when Freddie Butterworth was a Cinema
Manager, he decided to return the former Palace Theatre Scunthorpe,
revamped as the Savoy Cinema, back into a live theatre and such was
the success of this that within a few years he was able to build up
a circuit of over a dozen live Number Two theatres: The Savoy Scunthorpe
( Palace Theatre) - The Theatre Royal Lincoln, which became a theatre
again after the Lincoln Empire was bombed during the war - The Palace
Grimsby reopened as a live theatre after the Tivoli Grimsby was bombed
- The Norwich Hippodrome - The
Aston Hippodrome Taken
over from Sam Newsome - The Wolverhampton
Hippodrome taken over from the General Theatre Corporation - The
Boscombe Hippodrome also taken over from the General Theatre Corporation
- The Grand Southampton, patched up after
War damage and reopened as a live theatre - The York
Empire - The Bristol
Empire - The New
Northampton was the last theatre to be added to the circuit.
This information was kindly written for the site by Alan Chudley.
There is a great deal of information on Freddie Butterworth and the FJB circuit here.
Another well loved character in Northampton was Lou Warrick, the local Theatre Critic. He loved both Northampton theatres, particularly the New Theatre where he made many friends within the touring companies, towards the end of the" NEWD" Theatres life.
Revues often stayed in residence for several weeks, presenting a different version each week, thus saving touring costs. It was a sad day for Lou when FJB informed the local press that they would no longer require reviews. Lou had blotted his copy book, by saying that some of the Sketches in Terry (Toby Jug) Cantor's revues were old hat and that the audience knew the Tag Line by heart.
I came across Terry Cantor several times and he always gave value for money, albeit, as Lou said, with material which was a trifle dated. However, I do not think the audiences noticed this too much, as few had Lou's experience of Theatre going. Terry Cantor was a popular and good revue comedian, and a very pleasant man to know and work with, but he did not take kindly to criticism.
This information was kindly written for the site by Alan
You may find the following pages from this site of interest: