Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Hyde Theatre Royal 1

The Theatre Royal was opened in 1902 as a replacement for the first Theatre Royal, which stood in Frank Street; this was owned by the Hyde Theatre Company Limited who secured the land for a newer and better theatre in 1901. It opened as the New Theatre Royal in 1902 and seated 1000.The Design/Construction was by Campbell & Horsley (Manchester).


In 1914, the theatre was leased for cinema use, and called the New Royal Cinema, but the name of Theatre Royal was soon in use again for the regular pantomimes, variety and local shows. In 1932 alterations for cinema use were by Architect P Cummings. In 1950 it became a repertory theatre for two years, and thereafter reverted to cinema with Christmas pantomime and occasional shows until the 1960s when it was used largely as a cinema. The last show was staged in October 1972. The stage area was then converted into a second cinema. It finally closed as a cinema in 1992/3.


Although consent for demolition was given in 1999 and a redevelopment scheme, including plans for a pub on the site, approved, the building was spot-listed in April 2000. It remains, nevertheless, a Grade II listed building.


The Theatre Royal Onward Trust was set up for the preservation and restoration for the public benefit. Theatre Royal Onward Trust


Tom said...

I've always liked this building... the brick work and artwork are excellent... it was such a sad day when Hyde lost it's last Cinema and even sader now to see how it is being left...

I would be found here most Saturday mornings as a child for the matinee's.. All the kids from our street would walk to the pictures calling at Nightingales sweet shop before joining the long queue, there was always a queue back then. Then the doors would be opened and we could pay our money for the matinee. I was well into Flash Gordon, Hopalong Cassidy, Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers,and the Rocketman. Then there was either the Marx Brothers.... or even better the Three Stooges... Curly, Larry and Mo... ha! this takes me back.... I can feel a trip to 'You Tube' coming on.
School holidays we'd go to watch a midweek movie... mostly Disney Classic's... the Queue again was mad... I recall it going right around the corner at times up Henry Street and around by the big back door on Onward Street..
When I was in my teens it was Sunday night ... a big crowd of us went then.... it was great.. I have many memories from that time...

ian... said...

It's wasted isn't it? There's a few nice buildings around there - the old post office being another.

It's great that it's been listed. At least that gives it a fighting chance for being preserved, although not sure whether that also limits what it can be used for as well :>/

Gerald (Hyde DP) said...

I've got a series of photos of the inside taken on Heritage days at http://www.geraldengland.co.uk/gx/royal.htm

Hydonian said...

Thanks Gerald,great shots in there!

Tom said...

Great link Gerald.. as always;o)
I've got a few myself somewhere... mostly of the office, the desk and safe.. old habits die hard.. ha!

Ex Hydeonian said...

Wow, seen many a film here in my day. Star Wars, Rollerball (the first one with James Caan), several 'Confessions' films, ideal stuff for juvenile delinquents, Grease, (a girlfriend dragged me along to that, honest!), and a million others. Am I right in thinking that they used to stop the feature film half way through and come round with the ice cream? Or was that after the ads for hairdressers, curry houses and the clever cinema ads for Benson & Hedges. I remember the Pearl & Dean tune.....ah the memories. Been thrown out a few times too....for chucking popcorn and maltesers. Happy days.

westarsteve said...

my mate is still the caretaker of the theatre royal he goes in 3 mornings per week ha was one of the projectionist there for years along with albert breakey who died some years ago its a shame because its a lovely building inside

Anonymous said...

Lots of great memories from going to the pictures at Royal One and Royal Two.

My funniest recollection was when me and my mates went to see Rocky III, at Royal Two in '82.

The theatre was packed, and as the lights went down and 'The Eye of the Tiger' theme started to play from the back out of the gloom, some lad, egged on by his mates, came dancing slowly down the aisle, and carried on in front of the screen.

The house was in hysterics, cheering him on, until the ushers escorted him back to his seat.

So, so funny. :)