Osborne Theatre

Oldham Road and Birt Street,
Manchester, M40

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Osborne Theatre

Located on Oldham Road at Birt Street in the northeast inner city district of Miles Platting. The Royal Osborne Theatre was opened Easter Monday, 13th April 1896 with the play “The Priest Hunter”. It was the first Manchester theatre to be operated by William Henry Broadhead of the Broadhead’s Theatres circuit, and was the first theatre designed by architect J.J. Alley. It could accommodate 3,000 patrons and seating was provided in pit, orchestra, dress circle and gallery levels. The Royal Osborne Theatre was closed as a live theatre on 25th March 1935.

It was taken over by the H.D. Moorhouse Circuit and reopened as the Osborne Theatre, having been equipped with a British Talking Pictures(BTP) sound system. It continued to operate as a cinema until it was badly damaged by a fire on 19th October 1958. The last film to be screened was “Hell’s Outpost”

It was rebuilt and re-opened as the New Osborne, which operated as a live music/concert venue. In the 1970’s it operated as a roller-disco, and was finally operating as an acid house club named Thunderdome. It was demolished in April/May 2010.

Contributed by Ken Roe
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