Pavilion Arts Centre

St. John's Road,
Buxton, SK17

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Hippodrome Theatre

Located in Buxton, Derbyshire. The Pavilion Theatre was opened in August 1889. Seating was provided for 600 in orchestra stalls and balcony levels. In 1903, the magnificent Opera House (designed by noted theatre architect Frank Matcham) was built adjacent to the Pavilion Theatre. The Pavilion Theatre was then referred to as the ‘old’ theatre and was re-named Palace Theatre.

In 1909, it was renamed Hippodrome Theatre, and films were being screened as part of the programme. Eventually it went over to screening films as a full time cinema. The Hippodrome Cinema was closed on 30th January 1937 with Cary Grant in “The Amazing Quest of Ernest Bliss”.

It later was re-named Playhouse and was used for music and drama festivals. It was the home of the Buxton Repertory Company from 1945 to 1979. Since then, it has served as a nightclub, and the upper parts of the auditorium have been hidden by the insertion of a false ceiling. It then became known as the Paxton Suite, as part of the Buxton Opera House, and was a 250-seat multi-function room.

In September 2010 it was remodeled into the Pavilion Arts Centre. The false ceiling has been removed and the balcony brought back into use to create a 360 seat theatre, and with a 93 seat studio theatre on the former stage, which can be partitioned off and soundproofed.

It is a Grade II Listed building.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

CSWalczak on August 19, 2012 at 5:24 pm

A picture from 2001 can be seen here.

CSWalczak on August 20, 2012 at 4:14 pm

This page from the Buxton Opera House site, shows the interior of what was formerly the Playhouse.

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