Roker Theatre

207 Roker Avenue,
Sunderland, SR6 OBN

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Roker Variety Theatre

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Roker Theatre

Located on Roker Avenue, next to the Wheatsheaf pub, in the Monkwearmouth district to the north of Sunderland, Tyne & Wear. The Roker Variety Theatre opened on 15th October 1915. It operated as a cine-variety theatre and was owned by Sunderland Amusements Ltd. The Proscenium was 30ft wide, the stage 30ft deep and there were four dressing rooms. It was equipped with a 2Manual/16Ranks ‘straight’ organ made by Sunderland firm William Sewell. Originally the projection box was located at the rear of the stalls. In 1931 the projection box was re-located to the rear of the circle and it was equipped with a British Thomson Houston(BTH) sound system with Marilyn Miller in “Sally” being the first ‘talkie’ shown. It was re-named Roker Theatre.

The Roker Theatre was closed on 8th April 1961 with the Walt Disney film “Darby O'Gill and the Little People”.

It has since been demolished and the site is used by car sales dealership.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Biffaskin on June 19, 2022 at 6:04 am

From the Tyne & Wear Heritage website:

The Roker Cinema opened on the 15th October 1915. The Roker was the first cinema in Sunderland to use ordinary electricity in the 1920’s. The Roker also had an organ which was built in Sunderland. The Roker closed on the 8th April 1961.

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