Showing 20 comments
Great photos Ian, Iam sure that the boarded floor in the picture of the circle floor covers over where the open staircase from the foyer came up. Also your shot of the auditorium ceiling really shows up the deco details despite the fact that its painted black, you can see where the plasterwork has been removed from the top of the proscenium. As for your shot of the office with the hopper window, I think this is a section of the origional room , partioned off as an office during the bingo days.
Take a look at the visuals at www.casinored.com In July 2007 this company were given a license to convert the building into a casino. They have said that they will restore and retain the buildings origional features. If they are as good as their word, this must be better than the building standing empty and decaying
purely for interest from -The Stage Guide 1946 compiled by A. W. Tolmie *just managed to get a copy!
“THEATRES, Palace Huddersfield. Prop. Macnaghten Vaudeville Circuit, Ltd, 27. York Street. Sheffield 1. Cap. stalls 394,Pit Stalls 199, circle 356, gallery 262. Twice nightly 5.45 and 7.45, No Matinees, Variety. No barring clauses. Stage< Pros. 33.5 feet, depth 27 feet, height under flies 40 ft. stage to grid 51.5 ft…Footlights four circuits… four floods on stage. One front of house following lime. Dressing rooms, seven single, two chorus, acc, 24. Band room. Orchestra pit Acc. 12. Resident orchestra 11. Microphone available. Entrances in front of pros. to apron stage.” Dont you just love it !
This really was a beautiful cinema, the frontage was of dressed portland stone, infact it was indeed ‘top quality’ It was constructed by the local building firm, Wimpennys (Slaithwaite). I do believe some photographs of the 1936 interiors do exist amongst the archives in Huddersfield public library. As a child it was a ‘real’ treat to be taken to eat in the restaurant by my grandparents before the early evening film performance. A lot of us from school were weekly attenders of the ‘ABC Minors’ every saturday morning. Infact in the winter we would spend a whole saturday at ‘the pictures’ often moving down to The Princess or The Empire for the afternoon shows. A lot of controversy (whats new !) surrounded the demolition of ‘The Ritz’ at the time. Plans had already been drawn up buy the architecture department at the then Huddersfield Polytechic for conversion of the ABC to an Arts Centre/theatre, which included the retention of ABC 2 (in the former stalls) area for film use & the full ‘raking’ of the auditorium for theatre use together with frontal extension of the stage. The site belongs to the local authority, and it is believed that the demolition order was passed at the ‘11th hour’ on the ‘casting’ vote of the chairman of the planning commitee. It was also ‘rumoured’ that he was related to the owners of the company that demolished the building. But of course this was all rumour and heresay- such is politics!
Try the local history library (in the main library) or Kirklees photographic archive
thanks ken just hopeless at live links- dont know why this site dosn’t have a chat facility
Thanks for that, can you imagine when that website was last updated?– certainley ‘joe Pascuale’ will look a little older by now- ERYC dont seem to keen to tell us what going on at the moment-leave it much longer and they will loose all the business to scarborough spa- love that theatre- hope that they havent ruined it- mind you it needed work- I was in a Brid amateur prouction of ‘Oklahoma’ during easter 200l- we were supposed to be in ‘that dry state’ and it was ‘snowing’ on to us through a ‘hole’ in the roof of the fly tower!
Would really like to talk to you direct on some of the projects we are both interested in as you will see I think a positive battle is about to start to save the palace theatre in Huddersfield- I do admire your work and your photography cheers!– somebody has got to ‘rattle the cages’!
Does anyone have any new ‘sneak’ photos of the progress of the spa refurbishment- All seems to have gone ‘quiet’.I believe reopening has now been delayed until 2008?. Correct me if Im wrong but I fear that projection facilities for film have been removed as part of the refurb. Having appeared in stage shows in the theatre a few years ago, I have seen the screen up in the fly tower- in 200l/2 it was not in a very good state.
OOPs please ignore my dead link. view the interior shots of The Palace Theatre taken 2007 go to www.scottishcinemas.org.uk go to UK section ‘Huddersfield’ ac/thanks to Gordon Barr.
These pictures show sections of the seating in the circle and gallery in the origional rose dubarry coloured velvet, detais of the ceiling plasterwork.
More scanned images /photos of palace theatre Huddersfield at
Thanks for the information cinesteps, I have emailed Kirklees Council, The Theatres Trust & The Caseworker at The Twentieth Century Society basically ‘suggesting’ that the frontage at least be restored and incorporated into the new development. perhaps if a few other members write as well (if they havent already) it might help. Huddersfield has lost quite a few of its old buildings in the past through ‘lack of information and 'sneaky’ last minute demolition orders,including the ABC/RITZ Cinema on Market Street. If Walsall council managed to get Satchwells Avion Cinema listed last year- I dont see why a problem would exist here. It would also be worth English heritage taking a look at the auditorium ceiling which is intact and retains some interesting plasterwork together with the former circle bar (which is part of the frontage anyway) where the plasterwork features again). I believe that the plaserwork ‘roses’ incorporated an innovative system of conceiled lighting. If one takes a look at the Old Scottish Cinemas & Theatres.org website- which ironically has an English section- and look under Huddersfield
the webmaster took some good pictures of the interior of the building
earlier this year. I intend to ask his permission to feature these on this site when the picture facility opens again. In the meantime get wrting and take a look!
Point taken Ian
The Victoria Hall halifax, did not have a proscenium arch at all until after 1964. I had an open platform. Addition of the proscenium was a careful inclusion in the 1964 rebuild. The theatre also has a flat floor, infact one of the largest surviving sprung dance floors in the north of England alongside the Royal Hall Bridlington and Blackpool Tower and The Winter Gardens. This ‘feature’ has been seen as a ‘drawback’ for theatrical productions, as has the stage, which although it is aproximately 48 feet wide, is ‘shallow’ compared to the overall proportions of the building
The Majestic is still located on viaduct street. Majestic Designs only started operating in the 1990’s- before that it was used for car storage for Majestic Motors. I believe the present owners are interested in the history of the building and are happy to show visitors the former cinema should you choose to ‘knock at the door’
Adendum: Ive got it wrong when the cinema briefly reopened in 1993/4 it tokk on the name of TUDOR- not Essoldo as said above.
The Hippodrome Theatre was one of Huddersfields two variety theatres, the other being the Palace (also still standing) which operated in nearby Kirkgate. Even after it reopened as The Tudor, it continued to offer some live shows, the last to my knowledge being a Dusty Springfield concert in the early 1960’s. When Classic cinemas took it over in 1972, a cinema showing ‘adult films’ and called The Tatler- was opened on the former theatre stage area. It did not finally close as a Cannon Cinema, and infact operated as an independant cinema for about a year in 1993/4, when the name of Essoldo was restored albeit for a brief period. The proprietor infact hosted Huddersfield first Lesbian & Gay film festival at the venue, which included a showing of the newly released ‘Pricilla Queen Of The Desert’ as a ‘lighter offering’.As a note, the 1967 fire resulted in the destruction of the auditorium only, to my knowledge the ‘fly tower’ was never reduced in height, and the stage remained undamaged. If one observes the structure from Back Queen Street, it is possible to see the roof line that origionally existed above the hippodromes gallery. Up to about 15 years ago if one observed the building from the heights of the central services tower at the university of Huddersfield it was possible to see the words ‘Hippodrome’ painted in big white letters accross the roof of the flytower
The Rumboat Carribar is situated in the basement- which is where the restaurant and Dance Hall were situated
I believe this cinema opened in 1926 after conversion from a wool wharehouse. Many Huddersfield people will agree that it was indeed a very pretty cinema, the basement restaurant remained popular with the residents of the town for many years after the cinema closed.In the 1960’s and 1970,s both restaurant and cinema were a combined conern, and it was possible to have ‘high tea’ downstairs before the start of the films upstairs. The foyers were designed in 1920’s style ‘tudor /medieval’ obviously fake but well done. The auditorium was rather like the interior of a small edwardian theatre, with ‘fake’ side boxes. I dont know if it was ever used for live theatre- b ut due to its substantial stage, the building was briefly considered for such when Huddersfield was without a theatre
Thanks for that Ken- got my dates wrong i.e 1909 not 1904. Last went in the place after the Bingo closed and it was remarkably intact. Unfortunately I fear much of the interior was wrecked- when The Palace was converted to Chicago Rock Cafe, a friend tells me that all the Deco plasterwork around the procenium was taken off. It suprises me that so little local historic reference to the building when it was a theatre- perhaps the current Hudds University/LBT theatre archive project will unearth some more. I also hear that the building may be under threat of demolition as part of phase two of the Kingsgate shopping Centre.