Arthur Lloyd.co.uk
The Music Hall and Theatre History Site
Dedicated to Arthur Lloyd, 1839 - 1904.

 

The Newtown Palace Theatre, New Town Row, Birmingham

Birmingham Index

The Auditorium and Stage of the Newtown Palace Theatre, Birmingham in 1980 - Courtesy Ted Bottle

Above - The Auditorium and Stage of the Newtown Palace Theatre, Birmingham in 1980 - Courtesy Ted Bottle

An Advertisement for the imminent opening of the Newtown Palace Theatre - From the Birmingham Daily Mail, January 2nd 1914.The Newtown Palace Theatre, New Town Row, Birmingham, was built for Moss Empires as a Cine Variety Theatre and opened on Monday the 5th of January 1914.

The Theatre, which was designed by the architects William and Thomas Milburn of Sunderland, had an auditorium on two levels, stalls and one circle, which could accommodate 2,000 people when it first opened. The Theatre was also equipped with a large stage with a fully equipped fly tower, and seven dressing rooms.

Right - An Advertisement for the imminent opening of the Newtown Palace Theatre - From the Birmingham Daily Mail, January 2nd 1914.

The Birmingham Daily Gazette reported on the opening of the Theatre in their 6th of January 1914 edition saying:- 'A luxuriously-appointed picture palace, accommodating a seated audience of 2,000 was opened by the Moss Empires Ltd., in Newtown-row, Birmingham, yesterday afternoon, with a private exhibition, and the patronage of the general public in the evening suggested that both the site and the inaugural programme had been well selected.

The handsome exterior frontage is worked in buff terra cotta, while the interior design and embellishments, too, are a triumph for the architects, the colour scheme and mural ornamentations being charmingly artistic. The lounge circle accommodates 400 people, and the comfortable seats arranged in the body of the hall number 1,600.

There is a stage measuring 32ft. by 28ft., which can be adapted to music-hall requirements, and the scenic appurtenances are admirable.

The safety of the audience has been extensively provided for my numerous exits, and automatic sprinklers - arrangements which shower jets of water whenever a certain temperature is reached in the building. The lighting arrangements, too, have been studied more than usual by the management.

There are also large waiting rooms for the convenience of patrons, to avoid the uncomfortable necessity of lining in the street queues.

The programme this week includes among the pictures a dramatic play entitled "The Master Crook," and a domestic tragedy called "Fortune's Turn," as well as a comical production, "The Riot." Interspersed with the pictures are several variety "turns," including Cantereli and Miss Lilly, Continental musicians; Fred Regent, comedian, and Matthews and Haming in a sketch entitled "It". '

The above text in quotes was first published in the Birmingham Daily Gazette, 6th of January 1914.

A Report on the Newton Palace Theatre, Birmingham - From The Bioscope, 15th January 1914.

Above - A Report on the Newton Palace Theatre, Birmingham - From The Bioscope, 15th January 1914.

The Auditorium of the Newtown Palace Theatre, Birmingham during its Bingo years in 1980 - Courtesy Ted BottleThe Newtown Palace Theatre opened on the 5th of January 1914 and although it was originally built for Cinema and Variety use it didn't last long as a variety Theatre. In 1937 the Theatre was taken over by an independent operator who ran it for a number of years, but it was eventually closed down in April 1961. The Theatre was then converted for Bingo use. The final Bingo operator in the building was Ladbrokes who closed it in 1983.

Right - The Auditorium of the Newtown Palace Theatre, Birmingham during its Bingo years in 1980 - Courtesy Ted Bottle.

The Theatre then stood empty for a number of years before succumbing to demolition in the 1990s for a road widening scheme.

Ted Bottle, who took the photographs on this page during the Theatre's Bingo years in 1980, says:- 'This was only a mile from the Aston Hippodrome and erected by Moss Empires but it did not last long as a variety hall.

The proscenium plaster work was quite ornate and I have often mused on the identity of the lady on the balcony front, shown below. There was a full fly tower and it is surprising that there was no gallery.'

Some of the above information was kindly supplied by Ted Bottle.

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

A detail of the plasterwork on the Circle Front of the Newtown Palace Theatre, Birmingham in 1980 - Courtesy Ted Bottle.

Above - A detail of the plasterwork on the Circle Front of the Newtown Palace Theatre, Birmingham in 1980 - Courtesy Ted Bottle.

Other Pages that may be of Interest