Hippodrome Theatre

Corporation Street,
Chesterfield, S41

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: MacNaghten Vaudeville Circuit

Architects: Bertie Crewe

Firms: Rollinson & Sons

Styles: Baroque

Previous Names: Theatre Royal

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Hippodrome Theatre

Located in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. Originally on the site was a tin hut type of building, which was named the Theatre Royal. It opened in 1886 and presented music hall. In May 1896, it was replaced by a permanent brick built theatre designed by Rollinson & Sons, which continued the music hall tradition. By 1905, it had become part of the MacNaghten Vaudeville Circuit. Soon films were introduced as part of the variety programme.

The Theatre Royal was taken over by new management and was re-named Hippodrome Theatre from 11th November 1912. Films were presented on the Bioscope, and it is thought the projection box was at the rear of the stage.

In 1922, theatre architect Bertie Crewe designed a new interior for the theatre. The rather plain exterior was retained. It now had a 30 feet wide proscenium and re-opened on 3rd September 1923 with the revue “The Pin Wheel” live on the 28 feet deep stage. There were eight dressing rooms.

In August 1930, it was equipped with B.T.H. sound equipment and became a full time cinema from 8th September 1930, when the film “The Hollywood Revue featuring Jack Benny, Buster Keaton & Joan Crawford was screened. Occasional use was made of the stage during the next few years.

In 1938, it was taken over by new management and reverted back to mainly live theatre use. The Hippodrome Theatre was closed in 1954, and after years of dereliction and vandalism, was demolished. An underpass was constructed on the site.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Dronfieldman on October 7, 2016 at 12:05 pm

Can anyone shed light on whether it was on the right-hand side of Corporation Street or the left-hand side, when walking up the road from the station? It is puzzling that this article states that it used to be called Theatre Royal, as an article in the ‘Derbyshire Times’ of 1857 states that the Theatre Royal was located at Theatre Yard, not Corporation Street. Again, can anyone shed light on this discrepancy?

Chesterfieldlad on February 21, 2017 at 2:30 pm

You will notice from the picture the slope of Corporation Street, the Midland station was at the bottom of Corporation Street hill. The Hippodrome Theater would have been on the right side as you came up the hill away from the railway station, a little further up the hill and on the left is where the old Civic Theater now called the Pomegranate Theater stands.

Dronfieldman on April 4, 2017 at 2:53 am

Thanks for the clarification. It would appear that there was a Theatre Royal at Theatre Yard between the 1850s and 1880s and that there was a Theatre Royal on Corporation St from 1886.

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