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The Ardwick Empire Theatre, Hyde Road and Stockport Road, Ardwick Green, Manchester

Later - The New Manchester Hippodrome

Manchester Theatres Index

The New Manchester Hippodrome in 1937-1938, during the run of Bert Loman's production of 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears' - Courtesy Maurice Friedman, British Music hall Society.

Above - The New Manchester Hippodrome, formerly the Ardwick Empire, during the run of Bert Loman's production of 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears' in 1937-1938 - Courtesy Maurice Friedman, British Music hall Society. The caption on the card read 'Britain's Greatest Pantomime smashes all records at the Manchester Hippodrome 1937-8.'

 

A Music Hall Programme for the Ardwick Empire for the 2nd of September 1912. The Ardwick Empire Theatre was situated on the corner of Stockport Road and Hyde Road, Ardwick Green and built as large Variety Theatre for Oswald Stoll in 1904. The Theatre was designed by the renowned Theatre Architect Frank Matcham with internal decorations by De Jonge and Company of London, and opened on the 18th of July 1904 with a variety show headed by the Fred Karno Company.

Right -A Music Hall Programme for the Ardwick Empire for the 2nd of September 1912. More images of this programme are displayed below.

An early postcard showing the Ardwick Empire Theatre, Manchester.

Above - An early postcard showing the Ardwick Empire Theatre, Manchester.

 

A Poster for the Manchester Hippodrome, Ardwick Green - Courtesy Adrian KorsnerFrom 1930 the Theatre began operating part time as a Cinema but still presented Variety shows on its large stage for much of the time.

The Theatre was refurbished in 1935 and renamed the New Manchester Hippodrome after the original Manchester Hippodrome, which was also built in 1904, was sold to the Granada Cinemas Chain and demolished for the construction of a new Super Cinema on its site.

Left - A Poster for the Manchester Hippodrome, Ardwick Green - Courtesy Adrian Korsner - On the Bill were Vic Lewis and his Orchestra with Sylvia Drew and Dean Raymond featuring Ronnie Chamberlain, the Four Jones Boys, Billy Maxam, Ken Morris and Joan Savage, the Ballet Montmartre, Sisto and Partner, and Les Ricards.

The Hippodrome closed after the final performance of 'Tokyo' on April the 22nd 1961. Its closure was generally stated as being the result of a lack of suitable shows available to put on in the Theatre, which had also had a closure for several months the previous summer for the same reason.

After the closure of the Theatre its fittings were sold by auction. The Stage Newspaper carried an advertisement for the auction in their August the 17th, 1961 edition saying that the items included:- 'Velvet House Tabs; Drapes; Borders; Back Cloths; Tab Rails; Hemp Ropes and Lines and Winches. Floodlights; Spotlamps; Switch- boards; Fluorescent and other fittings; Neon and Box Signs; Vacuum cleaners; Hand Drill; Clocks; Water Heaters; and various electrical fittings. "Chappel" Baby Grand Piano; Record Player and Speakers. Bar Counters and Furnishings; Glassware and Crockery; Carpeting and Floor Coverings; Desks; Tables; Safes; Typewriters; Dressing Room Furnishings: Fire Appliances; Ladders; Trestles and General Complement of Loose Effects.' - The Stage, August the 17th, 1961.

It was hoped that after the auction the Theatre would at least be converted for other uses but sadly it was seriously damaged by a fire in February 1964 and was then demolished in August the same year. Amazingly the site of the Theatre has not been redeveloped and still stands empty today.

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

 

Music Hall Programme for the Ardwick Empire for the 2nd of September 1912.

Above - A Music Hall Programme for the Ardwick Empire for the 2nd of September 1912.

 

Music Hall Programme for the Ardwick Empire for the 2nd of September 1912.

Above - A Music Hall Programme for the Ardwick Empire for the 2nd of September 1912.

 

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