Norwich Theatres and Cinemas

All Saints Green Carlton at night [0354] 1935-02-12
Opened 1932, architect J.Owen Bond.
Anglia Square Odeon [6529] 1989-03-20
Opened 8th July 1971. Built by Alan Cooke and Partners.
Aylsham Rd Capitol night illumination [0318] 1934-11-26
Opened 1932.
Castle Gardens Whiffler open air theatre [7952] 2004-07-29
Opened 1982.
Dereham Rd 5 to 7 [2014] 1937-09-22
Site of the Regal cinema.
Dereham Rd Regal day after opening [2348] 1938-04-17
Regal cinema.
Golden Ball St cinema construction [7617] 1999-05-02
From Golden Ball St.
Golden Ball St cinema construction [7618] 1999-05-02
Haymarket Picture House night illumination [0316] 1934-11-20
The Haymarket Picture House (latterly known as the Gaumont Cinema) opened in 1911, was enlarged in 1921 (architect J.Owen Bond) and again in 1929. Demolished 1959.
Haymarket Picture House latterly Gaumont [4505] 1959-07-26
Haymarket Picture House part demolished [4537] 1959-09-28
Prince of Wales Rd Regent Theatre at night [0323] 1934-11-26
Opened 1923.
Prince of Wales Rd Norvic formerly Electric [4609] 1961-06-10
Opened as the "Electric" on Boxing Day 1912. It was given its new name when modernised in 1949. Closed 1959.
Riverside Walk UCI multiplex cinema [7716] 1999-11-27
Opened 26th November 1999. Wherry Rd.
St Andrew St Theatre de Luxe at night [0324] 1934-11-30
Opened 1910.
St Giles' St Hippodrome from Tuck's Court [B447] 1932-09-24
The Hippodrome, St Giles' St opened as the Grand Opera House in 1903, became a Music Hall in 1904, and a cinema in 1930, before returning to Variety in September 1937. In 1958 it became the Norfolk Playhouse Repertory Theatre but was demolished in 1966.
St Giles' St Hippodrome at night [0322] 1934-11-26
St Giles' St Hippodrome [4557] 1960-06-18
St John's Alley Maddermarket Theatre [1150] 1936-07-21
Built as a Roman Catholic Chapel three years after the Catholic Relief Act of 1791 and later used by the Salvation Army. The building was converted into an Elizabethan Theatre by Nugent Monck in 1921. His Norwich Players, founded 1911, moving from the Music House in King St.
Theatre St Theatre Royal after fire view W [0135] 1934-06-24
In the early part of the 18c Theatre St was known as Chapel Field Lane; it did not obtain its present name until after 1757 when Thomas Ivory "to oblige the general wish and request, and with the promise of all kinds of countenance and support from the principal inhabitants" undertook to build a theatre on a site in Chapel Field adjoining the then newly built Assembly House. It was completed and opened in January of the following year with a comedy called The Way of the World, the Norwich Company of Comedians being engaged to perform there. At first known as the "Concert Hall", it was licensed as a Theatre by His Majesty's Letters Patent in 1768, by which it was enabled to open from 1st January until 1st June each year and also in Assize Week.
In the early part of the 19c the building underwent various alterations and improvements, but it was eventually decided to pull it down and build a new one on the adjoining site. William Wilkins was the architect and proprietor and the new building, at a cost of 6,000, opened on Easter Monday, 1826, with The School for Scandal.
In 1883, as a result of a dispute between the Town Clerk and the proprietor, Mr William Sidney, concerning the provision of additional exits, the discovery was made that the licence granted in 1768 was personal to Thomas Ivory and had expired on his death in 1779. The theatre owned by Mr Sidney therefore was not a Patent Theatre but had been carried on for 104 years without patent, licence or permit of any kind.
After standing for more than a century, during which time it was enlarged and otherwise improved, the second Theatre Royal was ultimately destroyed by fire on 22nd June 1934. Commencing at about 2pm at the stage end of the building, the fire spread so that the whole theatre was very soon involved; within an hour nothing but the mere shell remained and Jack Gladwin, the proprietor, was faced with the choice of abandoning it altogether or completely rebuilding. Fortunately for Norwich he chose the latter course, and on 30th September 1935, the present Theatre Royal after designs by architect W.H.Barton L.R.I.B.A. (the third to stand on or adjacent to the site) opened with a production of The White Horse Inn.
Theatre St Theatre Royal view N after fire [0148] 1934-07-01
Theatre St Theatre Royal [2137] 1938-03-08
Theatre St Theatre Royal wall from garden [4298] 1955-04-09
Viewed from Assembly House garden.
Theatre St Theatre Royal wall from yard [4299] 1955-04-09
Believed to be a fragment of the first Theatre Royal, built by Thomas Ivory in 1758. Viewed from yard leading to current stage door.
Theatre St Theatre Royal view SE [7861] 2001-10-28
In 1970 the City Architect David Percival gave the white tiled frontage a new image to get rid of what the critics had called "the thirties' public convenience style". Brick panelling in a soft brown colour called "mocca" was inserted between the pilasters, and what tiling remained was painted to match. A new roof line was also introduced. The estimated cost was 7,500. At the same time much of the interior was refurbished and modernised.

Text and photographs copyright George Plunkett

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