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The Carlton Theatre, Corner of Saltley Road and Nechells Place, Birmingham

Later - The Birmingham Coliseum and Gaiety Theatre / Coliseum Theatre

Birmingham Index

The Carlton Theatre, Birmingham - From The Building News and Engineering Journal of December 1899

Above - The Carlton Theatre, Birmingham - From The Building News and Engineering Journal of December 1899

A Plan of the Carlton Theatre, Birmingham - From The Building News and Engineering Journal of December 1899.The Carlton Theatre was situated on the corner of Saltley Road and Nechells Place, Birmingham and was designed by Thomas Guest who also designed the Alexandra Theatre, Hull.

The Theatre was built at a cost of £14,000 and opened on the 16th of July 1900 with a Variety performance including Chas. W. Poole's Grand Myriorama; the Boer War and Pekin and the Boxers, The Pooleograph, The Three Clifton Brothers, Mephisto, Reed and Lerne, The Moxon Family, Woodee Wonders, Tibbot's Living Marionettes, The Archilles, The Three Almos, Patter and Pate, and Bowker Andrews.

The Theatre's auditorium was constructed on three levels, Stalls and Pit, Dress Circle, and Gallery, and also had six boxes.

Right - A Plan of the Carlton Theatre, Birmingham - From The Building News and Engineering Journal of December 1899.

The Building News and Engineering Journal of December 1899 reported on the soon to be opened Theatre saying:- 'This building is being erected on an imposing site at the corner of Saltley-road and Nechells-place, at the penny steam tram terminus, Saltley - one of the suburbs, although within the city boundary. It will be conducted upon popular lines, and the prices charged will be those equal to such theatres.

The building itself will accommodate upwards of 2,000 - in the pit, which is 58ft. 6in. by 57ft., 700, the gallery 700, circle 400, stalls 100. The stage is 57ft. by 35ft., and is 22ft. to the fly-floor, and 41ft. to the grid floor. The proscenium opening is 27ft. wide and 28ft. high.

There are six dressing-rooms on the same level as the stage. Internally the theatre will be decorated in model plastic work, picked out in cream and gold. Complete electric-light installation will be put down, supplemented by a complete gas service. The front line of the site is one long sweep; in consequence of this the chief front has been treated independently of the main building, and is placed immediately at the corner.

The Carlton Theatre, Birmingham - From an illustration in the Playgoer of 1901 / 1902 - Courtesy Iain Wotherspoon.On the left facing Saltley-road are the pit and gallery entrances, and on the right are the gallery and circle emergency exits. Next Nechells-place the site has allowed of four shops being erected.

The circle level in the front provides handsome staircase, foyer, manager's office, and refreshment room, with lavatories, &c., and access is provided from this level to the roofs of the shops, dressing-rooms, and pit refreshment-room, which are covered in with concrete flat, and will be converted into a winter garden illuminated with electric light.

Left - The Carlton Theatre, Birmingham - From an illustration in the Playgoer of 1901 / 1902 - Courtesy Iain Wotherspoon.

The elevations are being carried out in Kingswinford facing bricks and buff terracotta from Hathern Station, and the work is being rapidly proceeded with by Mr. T. Johnson, of Great Brook-street, under the direction of the architect, Mr. Thos. Guest, Cobden Buildings, Corporation-street, Birmingham. The entire cost of the building, including furniture, is upwards of £14,000.'

The above text in quotes was first published in The Building News and Engineering Journal, December 1899.

 

The Theatre had a change of name in April 1911 to the Birmingham Coliseum and Gaiety Theatre, and ten years later in 1921 the building was converted for Cinema use and renamed the Coliseum Theatre.

The Coliseum Theatre was destroyed by a bomb during the war in 1941 and remained closed and derelict until it was finally demolished in 1945. A Fabric Warehouse was later built on the site but today it is the site of an industrial estate.

If you have any more information or images for this Theatre that you are willing to share, please Contact me.

 

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