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The Willesden Hippodrome, 161 - 163, High Street, Harlesdon, London

Formerly - The Willesden Empire Hippodrome Theatre

An early Postcard showing the Willesden Hippodrome

Above - An early Postcard showing the Willesden Hippodrome

 

An early Postcard showing the Willesden Hippodrome.The Willesden Hippodrome was situated on the High Street in Harlesdon, London, and not in Willesden itself, although it was nearby. The Theatre was built for Walter Gibbons as a Music Hall and Variety Theatre and was designed by the renowned Theatre Architect Frank Matcham, opening as the Willesden Empire Hippodrome Theatre in September 1907. The Theatre had seating for nearly 2,000 people, a large stage with a proscenium opening of 40 feet and a depth of 30 feet, and 8 dressing rooms.

Right - An early Postcard showing the Willesden Hippodrome.

In September 1927 the Theatre was taken over by Granada Theatres Ltd., who altered it slightly and reopened it as a Cine Variety Theatre on the 12th of September the same year. The following year the Theatre was run as a Cinema by the Denman Gaumont Group from March but it soon went back to live Theatre use again at the beginning of the following year, January 1929.

In May 1930 the Theatre was taken over by ABC who ran it as a Cinema until September 1938 when it went back to Variety use with films showing on Sundays only. Elsie and Doris Waters were top of the Bill for the reopening in 1938.

Sadly the Theatre was destroyed by bombing only a few years later, during the war in the autumn of 1940, and would then remain derelict until it was finally demolished in 1957. An Office Building called Harlesden House was later constructed on the site and is still there today.

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

 

You may find the following pages from this site of interest: