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

 

The Temperance Hall, Granby Street, Leicester

Later - Metropolitan Pictures / Cinema De Luxe / Prince's Cinema / Essoldo Cinema

Leicester Theatres

A Sketch of the Temperance Hall, Leicester by David Garratt

Above - A Sketch of the Temperance Hall, Leicester by David Garratt

A testimonial programme for Walter Langford for May the 2nd 1912 - Courtesy David Garratt. - Click for details.The Temperance Hall was built in 1853 on a site fronting onto Granby Street, Leicester. The Architect was James Medland of Gloucester. The main hall was 100 feet long by 58 feet wide, and could seat 1,800 people. It had a balcony on three sides with a platform stage at the far end. It also had a smaller lecture room which could accommodate 350 people, and was the first public building in Leicester to have piped water.

The Hall opened on Monday the 19th of September 1853, described as 'New Music Hall' London Road.

The Temperance Hall was built by Thomas Cook the father of Tourism. He was a strict Baptist and member of the Temperance movement. Cook first arranged a trip to take 570 temperance campaigners from Leicester's Campbell Street Railway Station to the town of Loughborough, 11 miles away on the 5th of July 1841, for a Temperance rally, and charged one shilling which included the rail ticket and food on the journey. They travelled in 9 open carriages without seats, returning to Leicester by 10.30pm that evening.

Right - A testimonial programme for Walter Langford for May the 2nd 1912 - Courtesy David Garratt - Click for details.

Thomas Cook also built The Temperance Hotel, designed by James Medland, which still stands, and was built next door to the Temperance Hall, consisting of the Hotel, a tourism office, print works, and his home.

An advertisement from 'The Wyvern' for 'Moore & Burgess Minstrels' appearing at the Temperance Hall, Leicester in March 1898 - Courtesy David Garratt.The Hall presented varied entertainment of Concerts, Gipsy Choirs, Bioscope shows (the early cinema), Diorama's, Band and Orchestral concerts. Charles Dickens appeared there, giving readings from his works. Professor Pepper demonstrated his famous 'patented' 'Pepper's Ghost' illusion, and Charles Mathews Junior presented one of his 'At Home' performances. Phinneas T. Barnum also gave a lecture there on a Monday evening in February 1859.

Left - An advertisement from 'The Wyvern' for 'Moore & Burgess Minstrels' appearing at the Temperance Hall, Leicester in March 1898, and billed as 'Fun Without Vulgarity' - Courtesy David Garratt.

An advertisement from 'The Wyvern' for 'Poole's Myrirama' at the Temperance Hall, Leicester in April 1898 - Courtesy David Garratt.On the 30th August 1862 'The Bottle' was advertised as a striking drama to be performed, although the Temperance Hall did not have a dramatic licence to perform plays. It was suggested that the Temperance movement should apply for such a licence, but Thomas Cook stated 'the hall has already sunk to the low character of a common dancing saloon, and I should be sorry to see it enrolled as a licensed Playhouse'.

Right - An advertisement from 'The Wyvern' for 'Poole's Myrirama' at the Temperance Hall, Leicester in April 1898 - Courtesy David Garratt.

Arthur Lloyd and his wife, Katty King, performed at the Temperance Hall on Saturday the 18th of May 1878, the Leicester Mercury carried an advertisement for it in their 15th May 1878 addition which read:- 'Temperance Hall Leicester - Saturday 18th May 1878 - Mr and Mrs Arthur Lloyd and Comic Company - Mr Lloyd will sing all his Newest Songs and introduce a few of the old favourites. Amongst them will be found the following:-

'The Gallant 93rd' - 'What Everything's made of' - 'At it Again' - 'Take it Bob' - 'The Tragedian' - 'Tricky Loo' - 'Lilly She Long' - 'Silly Billy' - 'Comic Medley' - 'The Unfortunate Man' - 'For goodness sake don't say I told you' - 'Street Musician' - 'The Parson's Nose' - 'Branch off at the Junction' &c &c. and a new Entertainments entitled 'Who'd be a Manager?'

Mrs Arthur Lloyd, nee Miss Katty King, (daughter of Mr T.C.King, the celebrated Tragedian of the Theatre Royal, Drury- Lane, London) will appear in songs and sketches, entertainments, and a new apropos Topical sketch, written by Mr A. Lloyd, entitled 'Britannia.' Mr and Mrs Arthur Lloyd will be assisted by other talented artistes.

A Programme for 'Waifs and Strays' at the Temperance Hall, Leicester for the 27th of November 1895 - Courtey David Garratt. Admission:- First Class 2/-, Second Class 1/-, Third Class 6d. Doors open at 7.30, commence at eight o'clock; carriages ordered for 10. Tickets may be had at usual places.'

The above text in quotes was first published in the Leicester Mercury, 15th May 1878.

In 1880 James Porritt & Co Leicester built the organ for the Hall at a cost of £767.00.

Right - A Programme for 'Waifs and Strays' at the Temperance Hall, Leicester for the 27th of November 1895 - Courtey David Garratt. The programme features the cast of the 'Second Mrs Tanquery' company who were also appearing at Leicester's Royal Opera House that week. See Cast Details below.

David Devant the famous illusionist appeared at the Hall, being advertised by a large balloon in the shape of an elephant floating high above the Hall. Advertisements had been printed stating that he would present his Magic Kettle trick, which boiled whilst sitting on a block of ice, and could pour any drink asked for by the audience in an inexhaustible quantity of spirits, wines, and liqueurs.

At the last moment it was pointed out to him that Thomas Cook had made it a clause, which Devant had overlooked in his contract, that no intoxicating drinks were allowed on the premises. What was he to do without breaking faith with his audience? Devant hurriedly decided to make his Magic Kettle a total abstainer, and for it to produce only temperance drinks of tea, coffee, cocoa, milk and lemonade.

A Programme for 'Waifs and Strays' at the Temperance Hall, Leicester for the 27th of November 1895 - Courtey David Garratt.

Above - A Programme for 'Waifs and Strays' at the Temperance Hall, Leicester for the 27th of November 1895 - Courtey David Garratt. The programme features the cast of the 'Second Mrs Tanquery' company who were also appearing at Leicester's Royal Opera House that week.

An advertisement from 'The Wyvern' for 'David Devant's 40 Animated Photographs' showing at the Temperance Hall, Leicester in February 1898 - Courtesy David Garratt.On Friday and Saturday 25th and 26th February 1898 David Devant was back again this time presenting 40 animated photographs from Maskelyn and Cooke's Egyptian Hall in London. Also showing Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee procession faithfully reproduced on the Cinematographe.

Right - An advertisement from 'The Wyvern' for 'David Devant's 40 Animated Photographs' showing at the Temperance Hall, Leicester in February 1898 - Courtesy David Garratt.

An advertisement from 'The Wyvern' for 'George Grossmith' performing at the Temperance Hall, Leicester in February 1898 - Courtesy David Garratt.On 24th February 1898 George Grossmith gave his humorous and musical recital.

Left - An advertisement from 'The Wyvern' for 'George Grossmith' performing at the Temperance Hall, Leicester in February 1898 - Courtesy David Garratt.

The site of the Temperance Hall, Leicester in 2011 - Courtesy David Garratt.Moore and Burgess Minstrel’s played on the 14th March 1898. J. Poole's Myriorama in April 1898. The royal Gipsy Children on 21st October 1898 and a performance of 'Faust' by the Philharmonic Society on the 1st December 1898.

Eventually the Temperance Hall's entertainment turned more to early Cinema, By 1st January 1913 it was advertised as Metropolitan Pictures. On 1st September 1915 it was known as Cinema De Luxe, until 23rd April 1927. By 1930 the Temperance Hall interior had been gutted and changed into a proper cinema and on the 2nd January 1931 opened as the Prince's Cinema, later in the 1950's becoming the Essoldo Cinema.

Closing on 2nd July 1960, the building was eventually demolished in the 1960's and an uninteresting concrete 60's block of shops erected in its place.

Right - The site of the Temperance Hall, Leicester in 2011 - Courtesy David Garratt.

Thomas Cook's 157 year old Temperance Hotel building still stands 'just' (See Below) as Leicester City Council have recently given permission for its demolition to great outcry from the Leicester Victorian Society and the public of Leicester. In its place it is proposed to build a seven story office block with shops and a restaurant.

The Temperance Hotel, Leicester in 2011 - Courtesy David Garratt

Above - The Temperance Hotel, Leicester in 2011 - Courtesy David Garratt, who says 'Thomas Cook's 157 year old Temperance Hotel building still stands 'just', as Leicester City Council have recently given permission for its demolition to great outcry from the Leicester Victorian Society and the public of Leicester. In its place it is proposed to build a seven story office block with shops and a restaurant.'

The above article on the Temperance Hall, Leicester was written for this site by David Garratt and kindly sent in for inclusion in 2011. The article and its accompanying images are © David Garratt 2011.

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