Palace Theatre

30 Kirkgate,
Huddersfield, HD1 2QT

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Showing 1 - 25 of 41 comments

Mike_Blakemore on November 14, 2017 at 3:15 am

Richard Horstall Did not design the Theatre as such he acted as local agent for Roland Satchwell His duties was to be present to sign off the weekly stages of work and to deal with any issues locally

Mike_Blakemore on October 29, 2014 at 8:13 am

Hmm. There remains one Roland Satchell Live Theatre Left. When In Birmingham Visit “The Alexandra Theatre” The Frontage has been cladded But the fine Interior is intact…

curlew on October 29, 2014 at 3:18 am

The end of the begining!, well they have saved Roland Satchwells magnificient Art Deco frontage of 1936 and the 1905 theatre walls. Paid a visit tho loook at the work in progress yesterday, and was allowed A VERY BRIEF TOUR ! Unfortunately Satchwells fine auditorium ceiling has gone forever, along side the plasterwork from the gallery and circle fronts, which was exacly the same wave pattern as seen in Satchwells Birmingham Alex interior of 1935 (the place was really just a scaled down copy). Very sad to the safety curtain still stuck up on its mounts as it has been for the past 50 years awaiting specialist removal. Interesting parts of the 1905 origional have been uncovered during the strip out, for example the marks on the wall at either side of the pros, which appear to be the site of the pre fire boxes, and scorch marked stone on the frontage, uncovered as the workers have started to strip, repair and restore the faince tiles on the frontage which ill remain along with the theatres outer walls, as part of the new building. It is very sad, and the end of a long battle, and as i was allowed to stand at circle level and look out through the vomitory, which is the only part of the circle which was still up yesterday, part of me said, this should never have been allowed to happen. But unlike many Deco Theatres lost in the past, withe retained frontage, which is to be fully restored, The Palace will live on, and hopefully with its good ghosts as well!

Producer on September 7, 2012 at 7:46 am

Some photos of the cloths from the Palace hanging at the LBT for HOST weekend.

Producer on September 7, 2012 at 7:37 am

Apologies the dates above should read 8 to 9 September

Producer on September 7, 2012 at 7:32 am

Over the weekend of 7-8 September 2012 stage cloths and equipment recovered from the Palace Theatre are hanging and on show at the LBT in Huddersfield. Do go and see for FREE and

Mike_Blakemore on August 3, 2012 at 12:54 pm

I have now added a Picture of Roland Sacthwell the Architect Beleived to be first to design an Art Deco Cinema in the UK

curlew on August 3, 2012 at 11:14 am

Mike, I recon you might be on to something here- have u an email or facebook address- really like to 1 to 1 with you- interesting that the palace burned down during the panto season in jan/feb 36. reopened easter 37. I have checked the design on the balcony at the alex , you are correct- Of course mcnagten vaudeville circuit who owned the palace would have had contacts all over the uk.

Mike_Blakemore on August 3, 2012 at 9:55 am

@ Curfew.. Interesting picture. Satchwell used the same design on the edge of the 2 Circles. on the Alexander Theatre Birmingham. It is beleived that Roland Satchwell (Satchwell & Roberts) designed the first Art Deco cinema in the country “Capitol Cinema Birmingham” Drawing where done in 1924" The Owwner of The alex Birmingham was Chairman of The Clifton Circuit and was a Big Panto Producer. Question can you find out of Salberg did the pantos at the Palace ??? Because it is odd for Satchwell to even thinks of designing this theatre. It is out of his area

curlew on January 6, 2012 at 4:16 am

I am sure you are right, I suspect ‘coloured glass'I remember in th 1970’s when the building was illuminated at night from the inside- as the bingo club- in the colours of the rainbow it was stunning!. Its a shame it will be lost, probably with the insertion of the new floors. Its a shame the auditorium ceiling cant be saved

Producer on January 6, 2012 at 3:38 am

Interesting report Curlew.

I must question the suggestion that “…the tall stained glass windows. Under the present student apartment plans this is to be retained and restored.”

I am sure the tall windows are not of stained glass, but rather textured/patterned/obscured glass with exotic glazing bars. I also understand that in this proposal the windows will be entirely replaced,not retained nor restored.

I suggest the civic society will be supporting the application despite the loss of the ornate glazing.

curlew on January 6, 2012 at 3:23 am

Im sure you are right Mike about ‘bars’ issue. Mrs Ball tells me that she has seen the plans lodged at Huddersfield Central Library. The Palace and the Birmingham Alex appear to be the only actual ‘Theatre’s’ Roland Satchwell designed, the rest appear to be Cinemas.I suspect that certainly in the case of The Palace, he was commisioned to design it for easy conversion to a'super cinema' should a reopening with ‘variety’ fail. Interestingly Union Cinemas built the Ritz/ABC the following year and come world war 2 ‘variety’ revived itself which gave The Palace another 20 years as a live theatre. Also by 1947. Huddersfield had over 20 cinemas both in the town centre and provinces- quite a lot really. Perhaps as it turned out two massive cinemas were not required within the town centre. On the plans submitted for demolition by Halco. the Palace was also refered to as the Savoy Cinema. As far as im aware the Palace was open sporadically between 1954 and 1959 as a theatre and was converted to ‘The Continental Theatre ballroom in 1958/9. But I may be wrong of course! The interior of the Palace was by no means as elaborate as for example some of the 'Odeons’ built at the same time for example in Peterborough and Chester or the Plaza in Stockport This may well explain the failure of the listing application. The massive exception to me is the frontage which seems to be highly characteristic of Satchwells cinema designs with the tall stained glass windows. Under the present student apartment plans this is to be retained and restored. What is not to be retained is the fabulous art deco auditorim ceiling- infact its about the only bit of deco left. Hudds. Civic Society are objecting to the plans on a design matter- |I dont know if its on this issue. Mrs Ball tells me she has been in touch with Roland Satchwells grandson and he has all the origional plans. It might be worth contacting him to see if he has any of Rolands other sets of plans for the cinemas in the Midlands.

Mike_Blakemore on December 27, 2011 at 10:14 am

In Birmingham there was the same problem with the Alexandra Theatre.. The original Bars where an after thought. Satchwell and Roberts where noted for their fine Cinemas.. They Did Art Deco first in 1924…. I Think They could have been the first in UK..

curlew on December 27, 2011 at 5:41 am

Following the failure of the listing appeal. This maybe the best that can be hoped for. I like the full restoration of the frontage, but this is basically a ‘gutting down to three exteral walls’ and the total demolition of the existing interior including the stage. This will mean the loss of of the amazing Art Deco ceiling which is unfortunately about the only origional Roland Satchwell 1936 design feature left. Huddersfield Civic Society do not seem concerned about the interior features. Interesting that the Chester Odeon is listed ‘inside and Outside’. As we have said the 1936 interior was more or less totally intact until the Chicago Rock Cafe conversion iwrin

Producer on December 26, 2011 at 7:54 am

Here is the news. A planning application for conversion of the Palace into student apartments has been submitted. It can be found at Consultation is open to 17 Jan 2012.

MrsBall on April 14, 2011 at 6:59 am

Hi Curlew, great to hear from you. You could well be our ‘missing piece’, as we too have struggled to find photos of the original interior! I’d be particularly interested to know what the staircase between the foyers looked like – it’s heartbreaking that it was still there so recently but is now gone. The plans lay everything out quite clearly: the stalls bar was in the cellar (which explains the unusually beautiful tiled pillar we found down there!) and the circle bar was in the room off the circle foyer, the one with the hopper window that you wondered whether might have been an office. Satchwell actually designed the theatre originally without any bars, but added them on revised plans later. The plans themselves are something to behold too, so beautifully detailed and incredibly evocative of the period.
I’d love to chat with you more about it – email to follow!

curlew on April 14, 2011 at 3:21 am

This is a continuation- will only let me submit short comments!. In 1997 during the Chicago rock cafe conversion I was horrified with what they had done to the building- with all the air vent pipes broken through the circle and gallery, and the removal of the beautiful deco brass railed staircase which ran from the foyer to the circle lounge. The side galleries they installed- still intact also ruined the theatres proportions. I think the people who have commented on ‘this page ’ over the last few years have done most of the historical research so far- comments on other websites seem to be ‘lifted’ from our stuff on here. Hope to speak to you soon. for it

curlew on April 14, 2011 at 3:12 am

E.B. great and amazing news that people are finally getting together and saving this gem. Would like to help in any way possible- amazing that you managed to get hold of the plans?– I have scoured the internet for pictures of the interiors to no avail- I have had to rely on the memories of my parents/ friends to see if they can remember where things like the bars were situated. My former name was pueblo. I first went into the theatre in about 1986, when the bingo was going, as I remember it totally intact, apart from the bingo tables installed over the dance floor in 1959. Can you get in Touch ()

MrsBall on April 13, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Well, curlew is right on the money :) Phase 2 has been scrapped (they’re building up instead of out now) and the Palace lives to see another day!

I’ve been reading this site with interest; it’s great to see such support for the Palace out there – and the links to your galleries and pages are fab.

I thought you guys would be interested to know (not public info yet, just for you!) that the Palace Theatre is, indeed, on the market and that we are in the process of forming a Building Preservation Trust in order to buy and fully restore the theatre, circa 1st March 1937 :)

Even now an enormous amount of Roland Satchwell’s original build remains – I spent a happy half hour the other day poking around the SL fly gallery, complete with all 28 original hemp lines, rolled scenery and various 50yr old graffiti on the bricks surrounding the ladder!
So much remains: doors, light fittings, door knobs, tiles, glass… how could anyone do anything other than restore this beautiful, old, tenacious building!

We have spent time studying Satchwell’s original plans, and have so far talked to The Theatres Trust, the Architectural Heritage Fund, the Twentieth Century Society, the Heritage Lottery Fund, local regeneration officers, Huddersfield Civic Society and the DCMS – who are currently deciding whether or not to award the theatre Grade II listed status, on which much depends.

I must point out that we are right at the beginning of this process and the Palace is by no means out of the woods; until the listing comes through and/or we are in a position to fund the acquisition (which we are not yet) there’s still the risk someone could snatch it away (seriously, if you know anyone who could spare a coupla hundred thousand, point them our way, please!)

I would really love to hear you thoughts/comments/opinions on this. Again, we are right at the beginning of this journey, and not all steps have yet been covered (I seem to spend all day every day on the phone or laptop!) hence no publicity as yet. I just felt you guys deserved to know! Will post a link to our website too as soon as we’ve finished tweaking it.


curlew on November 26, 2010 at 12:30 am

Despite the rumblings in The Huddersfield Examiner last summer about demolition notices and attempts by Huddersfield Civic Society to get the palace listed (I can find no references on English Heritages website)– Check out the current commercial sales catalogue for Eddisons Ltd (Huddersfield). As we speak the building is up for sale- as “The Palace Theatre” 30. Kirkgate, together with the Kirgate Public House next door. Perhaps Halco has put them back on the market and phase 2 of the Kingsgate Scheme has been abandoned?

Producer on July 7, 2010 at 12:58 pm

I have just been told be trusted source, a person in a position to know…

A demolition notice for the Palace has just been submitted to Kirklees Council. I understand that the notice gives seven days notice of demolition.

Time for action?

More news as I have it.

Ian on September 19, 2009 at 12:41 am

A 2009 shot – still open as a bar / nightclub:–

curlew on January 13, 2009 at 6:29 am

The developers as above appealed against the planning rejection and it has been passed!, in December 2008, If one views the revised plans they include the retention of Roland Satchwell’s Art Deco frontage. Anyway it looks like a final farewell to yet another of our Art Deco gems, including the great auditorium ceiling. The appeal document makes interesting reading and can now be found on the site of the planning application- link as above. The planners seem to think that The Palace was once known as ‘The Savoy Cinema’? correct me if im wrong, but the only cinema of this name was The Savoy at Marsh which later became a Lodges Supermarket. Where do these people get their information? all they have to do is ask us!. They also apparently have ‘drawings and pictures’ of the theatre, presumably the ones copied from Huddersfield Library which I posted on my google web page nearly 2 years ago.

southsun on April 30, 2008 at 8:03 am

Its pleasing to see that the aforementioned planning application which involved demolition of the theatre has been turned down by Kirklees MBC (see planning website- link as above). Before this the developers had been asked to resubmit ammended plans incorporating Roland Satchwells frontage, these can be seen on the kirklees website, with drawings of it incorporated into the proposed department store. Perhaps this was a result of the actions of The Theatres Trust. Kirklees MBC planning commitee may be rather pleased that they now have an ‘excuse’ to reject a scheme that could have been seen as direct competition to their own- howver lets wait and see, the planners are to appeal acording to local press reports. Thanks (formally conran / out of circulation for a while!)