Royal Court Theatre
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The Royal Court Theatre was opened on 13th October 1938 on the same site and as a replacemnet of the previous Royal Court Theatre which burned down in September 1933.
It was opened for Howard & Wyndham Ltd. and had been designed by James B Hutchins.
An elegant theatre on three levels, it was noted for its excellent sightlines and superb acoustics.
By 1971 however there were insufficient touring companies to keep both the Royal Court and the larger Empire Theatre fully programmed and so Howard & Wyndham had a projection suite added to the rear stalls area, with the loss of over 80 seats, and, sub-letting the theatre “for up to six months per year” to Hutchinsons Cinemas Ltd of Burnley, embarked on a very successful season of films over the Summer months.
Even this was not enough to save the theatre and in 1976 Howard & Wyndham offered the theatre for sale. It struggled on until 1979 before closing.
Re-opening the following year it once again struggled to survive and by the end of 1981 had become principally a rock concert venue. This has enabled the theatre to remain open and has permitted some extensive refurbishment, which has included the removal of the projection suite.
The Royal Court Theatre remains a substantially unaltered prime example of 1930’s cinema/theatre building.
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