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

 

The London Music Hall, Bridge Street, Manchester

Later - The Royal Amphitheatre & Circus / The Queen's Theatre

Manchester Theatres Index

The Queen's Theatre, Bridge Street, Manchester, built on the site of the former London Music Hall and Royal Ampitheatre in 1891 - Courtesy David Huxley.

Above - The Queen's Theatre, Bridge Street, Manchester, built on the site of the former London Music Hall and Royal Ampitheatre in 1891 - Courtesy David Huxley.

A Music Hall Poster for the London Music Hall, Manchester in 1864. - Poster from a private collection and kindly sent in for inclusion on the site. 'The Queen's Theatre in Bridge-street has had a checkered career. Originally an hotel, its history as a place of amusement dates from the time when Dr. Marks and his "little men" gave some very clever musical entertainments there. Mr Helliwell, [sic] the india rubber manufacturer, reconstructed the building to serve the purposes of "The London Music Hall." Further alterations transformed the building into a circus and amphitheatre, and Mr Garcia, its lessee, subsequently succeeded in getting the place licensed for the performance of stage plays, and the first piece enacted under the new order was Formosa.

Right - A Music Hall Poster for the London Music Hall, Manchester in 1864. On the Bill were The Sisters Gillbee Glifford, Mr and Mrs St John, The Brothers Pentland, Mr T Crossling, and Tibbets & Hamilton. Also advertising the following week with a Benefit for the Sisters Gillbee Gifford and Sam Collins. Poster from a private collection and kindly sent in for inclusion on the site.

When Mr Helliwell [sic] disposed of the theatre, Mr J. B. Dodson became the proprietor; Mr F. B. Egan, of the old theatre in Spring-gardens, and Mr Walter Rainham becoming the new lessees. After making extensive alterations they inaugurated their management by producing a new play called Insured at Lloyd's, continuing with stock pieces until the production of the pantomime The Forty Thieves. Mr Dodson himself, with Mr Bailey as manager, and afterwards Mr Edward Henry, carried on the theatre at a later date. A limited company were the next proprietors, Mr Henry being retained as manager. He was succeeded by Mr W. G. Irwen, who in turn gave place to a syndicate by whom Mr Edmonds was appointed manager. When Mr Salter became lessee under the syndicate, Mr J. C. Emmerson received the appointment of manager.

The theatre was carried on successfully until the expiration of a nine years' lease, when some dispute arose on the question of rent, which ended in the house remaining unoccupied for some time. Mr Richard Mansell was the first lessee to place the theatre on the popular basis, which has been its chief characteristic in recent years, by lowering the prices and catering for he multitude, a policy which was continued by Mr J. Pitt Hardacre who began theatrical life in Manchester at a salary of three shillings a-week, and who purchased the lease, goodwill, &c., of the theatre from Mr Mansell for £3,500.

An early Entrance Token for the Queen's Theatre, Manchester - Courtesy Paul Withers of Galata Print.The theatre was destroyed by fire on Aug. 17th, 1890, (see image below) and a new building erected by Booth and Chadwick, architects, which was opened on March 28th, 1891, with All that Glitters is Not Gold and Robert Macaire.'

Left - An early Entrance Token for the Queen's Theatre, Manchester - Courtesy Paul Withers of Galata Print.

The above text was first published in an article in the ERA, 4th of January 1896.

Please note that the correct spelling for Mr Helliwell mentioned twice in the above text should be 'Hellewell'. Sidney Carter Hellewell was an Indian Rubber Merchant born in 1917, he died in 1863 aged 46.

A Watercolour of the Queen's Theatre, Bridge Street, Manchester by George Richmond, February 2017. The painting has been created from a photograph in the book 'Red Plush and Gilt' by Joyce Knowlson.

Above - A Watercolour of the Queen's Theatre, Bridge Street, Manchester by George Richmond, February 2017. The painting has been created from a photograph in the book 'Red Plush and Gilt' by Joyce Knowlson. Click for an Index to all of George Richmond's Paintings on this site.

A Watercolour of the Auditorium of the Queen's Theatre, Bridge Street, Manchester by George Richmond, February 2017. The painting has been created from a photograph in the book 'Red Plush and Gilt' by Joyce Knowlson.

Above - A Watercolour of the Auditorium of the Queen's Theatre, Bridge Street, Manchester by George Richmond, February 2017. The painting has been created from a photograph in the book 'Red Plush and Gilt' by Joyce Knowlson. Click for an Index to all of George Richmond's Paintings on this site.

I am told that the Royal Ampitheatre and Circus, which was the successor to the London Music Hall, was demolished in 1870 and that the Queen's Theatre was built on the site in the same year. A fire in 1890 (see image below) resulted in the Theatre being rebuilt soon afterwards, managed by Flanagan, and so it remained until 1911 when it was demolished and the site sold for the construction of a Masonic temple.

This Queen's Theatre and Music Hall, which had a capacity of 1,400, should not be confused with the Queen's Theatre, Spring Gardens, Manchester.

A photograph showing the Queen's Theatre after a fire destroyed the Theatre on August 17th, 1890. Caption Reads:- 'View of Fire-Resisiting Curtain after Outbreak' - From 'Modern Opera Houses and Theatres' by Edwin O Sachs, Published 1896-1898, and held at the Library of the Technical University (TU) in Delft - Kindly sent in by John Otto.

Above - A photograph showing the Queen's Theatre after a fire destroyed the Theatre on August 17th, 1890. Caption Reads:- 'View of Fire-Resisiting Curtain after Outbreak' - From 'Modern Opera Houses and Theatres' by Edwin O Sachs, Published 1896-1898, and held at the Library of the Technical University (TU) in Delft - Kindly sent in by John Otto.

Some of the archive newspaper reports on this page were collated and kindly sent in for inclusion by B.F.

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

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