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

 

The Theatre Royal, Clifton Street, Talbot Square, Blackpool

Formerly - The Assembly Rooms and Arcade - Later - The Tivoli Electric Theatre / Van Beine’s Theatre / Talbot Bingo Club - Also - Yate's Wine Lodge

Blackpool Theatres Index - Blackpool Theatres Article by Donald Auty

A Google StreetView image of the former Theatre Royal, Yate’s Wine Lodge, Blackpool being demolished after fire destroyed the building in 2009 - Click to Interact

Above - A Google StreetView image of the former Theatre Royal, Yate’s Wine Lodge, Blackpool being demolished after fire destroyed the building in 2009 - Click to Interact

The building on Clifton Street which Blackpool people will still remember today as Yate’s Wine Lodge was destroyed by fire in 2009 and subsequently demolished. There is a photograph of the building before the fire here. The building had a long and involved history stretching right back to 1868 when it first opened as the Arcade and Assembly Rooms.

The building is said to have been 'magnificent' when it first opened and consisted of a basement arcade of 'elegant' shops, with refreshment rooms, and a billiard room; and above, a spacious Hall with a three sided gallery and a small stage measuring 20 foot by 30 foot for theatrical entertainments.

In July 1861 the Hall on the first floor of the building was being advertised in the press as being about to reopen as the New Theatre Royal, and by August its manager, Watkins Young, had been granted a theatrical licence to stage plays in the new Theatre during the summer months. A new licence was issued on the following years too, but always for just the summer season. The Theatre Royal soon became known for its 'high quality' productions, and even had its own Stock Company for a while whilst under the management of the Edinburgh Royal Prince's Theatre's actor manager J. H. Hudspeth in 1866. By 1868 there were mutual links between the proprietor of this Theatre and the Theatre Royal, Huddersfield, in the respect that the same artistes were performing at both Theatres.

Arthur Lloyd at the Theatre Royal, Blackpool in August 1873 By 1873 Francis Failie was the Theatre's lessee and he was responsible for engaging Arthur Lloyd to bring his annual 'Two Hours Genuine Fun' tour to the Theatre Royal for a few days. The ERA carried a notice on this event in their 31st of August 1873 edition shown right.

Right - Arthur Lloyd at the Theatre Royal, Blackpool in August 1873.

In 1895 the Theatre's lessee was Thomas Sergenson who also ran the Prince of Wales and Grand Theatres nearby.

The following year, in 1896, the building was taken over by Yates Bros Ltd and the ground floor converted into their Yate's Wine Lodge, which remained until the end of the building's life in 2009. The upper floor, in which the Theatre Royal was situated began showing Lumiere’s Cinematograph pictures the following year in 1897 and would later be turned over to full time Cinema use in 1906 as the Tivoli Theatre.

In 1909 the Theatre was renamed Van Beine’s Theatre and here were produced a mixture of entertainments in the Music Hall and Variety vein. The Theatre was later reconstructed and reopened as the Tivoli Picture Theatre in 1913 with films as the main fare.

The Tivoli Cinema was destroyed by fire in October 1964 but the Wine Lodge beneath survived and the Cinema itself was refurbished and reopened in April 1965 with a smaller capacity of some 650 people.

The Tivoli closed in the mid 1970s and was converted for Bingo use and renamed the Talbot Bingo Club. This was later taken over by Hutchinsons but closed down in September 1980.

Unusually for a former Cinema / Theatre after Bingo use, the place was back in Cinema use again in February 1982 as the Tivoli Cinema once more, opening with a showing of the films 'Hooper' and 'Convoy', but sadly this was not successful and the Cinema closed down again in just a few short months.

The Tivoli was later converted into an 'Old Style Music Hall' called the Music Hall Tavern, and then later still into a nightclub.

During all this time the Yate's Wine Lodge had continued to thrive on the ground floor of the building since 1896 but this was to end on the morning of the 15th of February 2009 when the building was completely destroyed by fire in an arson attack, and has since been demolished. There is a photograph of the building before the fire here.

A Google StreetView image of the former Theatre Royal, Yate’s Wine Lodge, Blackpool being demolished after fire destroyed the building in 2009 - Click to Interact

Above - A Google StreetView image of the former Theatre Royal, Yate’s Wine Lodge, Blackpool being demolished after fire destroyed the building in 2009 - Click to Interact

A Google StreetView image of the former Theatre Royal, Yate’s Wine Lodge, Blackpool being demolished after fire destroyed the building in 2009 - Click to Interact

Above - A Google StreetView image of the former Theatre Royal, Yate’s Wine Lodge, Blackpool being demolished after fire destroyed the building in 2009 - Click to Interact

The site of the former Theatre Royal, Yate’s Wine Lodge, Blackpool in November 2013 - Photo M. L.

Above - The site of the former Theatre Royal, Yate’s Wine Lodge, Blackpool in November 2013 - Photo M.L.

Some of the later information for this Theatre was gleaned from the excellent Cinema Treasures website, and the Theatres Trust.

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

Archive newspaper reports on this page were collated and kindly sent in for inclusion by B.F.

Other Pages that may be of Interest