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Theatres in Weymouth, Dorset

The Pavilion Theatre - The Theatre Royal - Jubilee Hall / Regent Theatre

The Pavilion Theatre, The Esplanade, Weymouth

Later - The Ritz Cinema / Pavilion Theatre

A Google StreetView Image of the Pavilion Theatre, Weymouth - Click to Interact

Above - A Google StreetView Image of the Pavilion Theatre, Weymouth - Click to Interact

A Programme for the original Pavilion Theatre, Weymouth in 1927 - Courtesy Roy Cross.The Pavilion Theatre, which is situated on the Esplanade at Weymouth today, opened in 1960 but replaced an earlier building which first opened as a Concert Hall in 1908 and was destroyed by fire in 1954.

The original building was designed by the architects Mangnall and Littlewoods and was constructed of wrought iron and wood. It had a 'lavishly decorated' auditorium with a promenade balcony and three boxes on either side with a total capacity of 1,212. The original building also had a tea room and a skating rink. The Pavilion's Grand opening was on the 21st of December 1908 but the first public performance was on the 23rd when they presented the pantomime 'Mother Goose'.

Right - A Programme for the original Pavilion Theatre, Weymouth in 1927 - Courtesy Roy Cross.

The Pavilion was closed in 1938 and requisitioned by the army, and was damaged during an air raid in 1942. It remained closed during the war and and didn't reopen again until 1949, under the management of the Buxton Theatre Circuit, who spent £4,000 installing a projection room and adapting the building for Cinema use, including installing a British Thomson Houston sound system.

It reopened in May 1950 as The Ritz Cinema and remained in Cinema use until it was taken over by Melcombe Productions in 1951 and reopened as a live Theatre again. In January 1954 the roof and exterior were renewed but sadly the whole building was destroyed by fire in April 1954.

The present building was designed by Verity and Beverley and construction began in 1958. The new Pavilion cost £300,000 to build and was finally opened two years later in 1960, the official opening taking place on the 15th of July 1960 with a show called 'Let's Make a Night of It' with Benny Hill in the leading role. The Complex comprises of the Pavilion Theatre itself, a Ballroom called the Ocean Room, and various other meeting rooms and bars. The Theatre has a capacity of 850 and the Ballroom can accommodate 700. Originally run by the Council, today the Pavilion is run by a not for profit Community Interest Company which saved the building after the Council closed it in May 2013 for a proposed demoltion. The new Company reopened the Pavilion on the 13th of July 2013 with a 10 year lease.

You may like to visit the Theatre's own website here.

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

The Jubilee Hall, St Thomas Street, Weymouth

Later - The Royal Jubilee Hall / Regent Theatre / Top Rank Bingo / Gaumont / Odeon / New Invicta Cinema and Bingo Hall

A Twice Nightly Variety Poster entitled 'All Smiles' at the Regent Theatre, Weymouth - Courtesy Stephen Wischhusen.The Jubilee Hall was situated in St Thomas Street, Weymouth and first opened in the early 1900s showing films and various live entertainment throughout its early years. The Hall was fitted with a Bullman Cinema Screen according to their advertisements in 1924.

In 1926 the building was extensively altered by the architect William Edward Trent who added two boxes to the auditorium, now capable of seating some 1,400 people in its stalls and single balcony. Trent also added a Balcony Lounge, a Cafe, and a Dance Hall. At this time it also had a 30 foot deep stage with a proscenium opening of 38 foot, and 8 dressing rooms for artistes. The building reopened as the Regent Theatre under the ownership of Provincial Cinematograph Theatres on the 2nd of August 1926 with a show called 'Welcome Home'.

Right - A Twice Nightly Variety Poster entitled 'All Smiles' at the Regent Theatre, Weymouth - Courtesy Stephen Wischhusen. On the Bill were Teddie Stream, Marjorie Lawrence, Lawrence Edgley, Norman Field, Arthur Goddard, The Ten Ohio Syncopators, Florence Le Roy, Billie Holmes, Gladys Carlton, Edward Copus, Nina Norre, and the 12 'All Smile' Girls. Also advertised is the screening of the 1925 silent film 'Ben-Hur' the following week which dates it to soon after the Theatre's 1926 reopening. Also Note the PCT logo on the poster which stands for Provincial Cinematograph Theatres Ltd, later absorbed by Gaumont and Rank. Their best halls seemed all to be called "Regent" eg The Regent, Hanley (still extant) and the Regent Brighton. PCT was formed in 1909, chairman Sir William Bass (brewer), Managing Director R. T. Jupp. Capital £100,000 increased to £400,000 in 1913. Surviving intact also is The Apollo Victoria.

The Theatre was renamed Gaumont in February 1951 and then Odeon in September 1968. Later still it was converted for Bingo by Top Rank who ran it as such until C C Leisure Ltd took it over in February 1976 and it was renamed the New Invicta Cinema and Bingo Hall. This didn't last long however, and it was closed on the 29th of January 1977.

In April 1977 the building reopened for Bingo only but was closed again in December 1989 and was then demolished.

Some of the information for this Theatre was gleaned from the excellent Cinema Treasures Website.

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

The Theatre Royal, St. Nicholas Street, Weymouth

A Google StreetView Image of the site of the former Theatre Royal, Weymouth - Click to Interact

Above - A Google StreetView Image of the site of the former Theatre Royal, Weymouth - Click to Interact

The Theatre Royal was situated in St Nicholas Street, Weymouth and stood where a Bowling Alley stands today. It first opened in the early 1800s and was a conversion of a former Congregational Church. The Theatre was run for a time by the father of Ernest Wheeler who had taken the lease on the Pavilion in Weymouth from 1914.

A Prologue spoken at the Theatre Royal on Monday the 4th of November 1811 by Mr and Mrs Loveday can be read here.

The Theatre Royal was demolished in 1968.

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