Hippodrome Cinema

Angel Road,
London, N18

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Located in the north London district of Edmonton, on the south side of Angel Road, at the corner of Cross Street, to the west of Fore Street. The New Public Hall was opened in 1888, with a seating capacity for 800 in stalls, pit and gallery levels. The auditorium ran parallel to Angel Road. In April 1889, it had been re-named Theatre Royal, initially a playhouse. It was redecorated in 1896, and re-opened on 6th February 1896 as the Theatre Royal of Varieties. By 1900, it had returned to presenting plays.

It was a fairly plain building both externally and internally, with some plaster swags as decoration on the front of the balcony. Right up to at least 1905, the theatre did not have any toilet facilities for its patrons, and the gentlement had to use toilets in the adjacent Bricklayers Arms public house, and the ladies used a toilet in a nearby cottage (the owner of which made money out of offering this service).

The building was extensively modified in 1907 (including the provision of toilets) and the proscenium was 18 feet wide. It re-opened, still named Theatre Royal and presenting plays. By June 1909, films were being presented and these occasional shows continued until 1916, the building was converted into a full time cinema, known as the Hippodrome Cinema. It was equipped for sound films in 1930, but the Hippodrome Cinema soon became the local flea pit as newer cinemas opened in Edmonton.

The Hippodrome Cinema was closed in 1947, and was converted into a snooker club, which lasted two or three years. The building then became a furniture storage facility until 1961, when it was demolished, and it became an empty unused site. In the late-1980’s, the site was swallowed up in road widening scheme on Angel Road (North Circular Road).

Contributed by Ken Roe
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