Hippodrome Theatre

160 High Street,
Gateshead, NE10

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Additional Info

Architects: L.H. Armour

Previous Names: Theatre Royal, Queen's Theatre, Queen's Theatre of Varieties, New Hippodrome Theatre

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Located in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear. Built in 1815 as a large Wesleyan Methodist chapel, it became the Hall of Varieties in 1882. and opened as the Theatre Royal on 17th October 1887. The pantomime “Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp” was playing to an audience of 1,250 on Boxing Day, 26th December 1891 when a lighted match was accidently dropped between floorboards in the gallery seating area, causing a small fire, which started a panic and 9 children were crushed to death in the stampede to exit the theatre. Two more children later died in hospital. The theatre reopened and resumed the run of the pantomime on 30th December 1891. In 1893 Gateshead architect L.H. Armour designed plans for a renovation of the theatre.

On 26th December 1894 it was re-named Queen’s Theatre. It was short lived and remained closed for three years, reopening as the Queen’s Theatre of Varieties on 22nd August 1898. On 26th September 1898 ‘Edison’s Living Photos’ was part of the variety programme. Films were being screened as part of the variety programme from 1903. In December 1911 it was re-named New Hippodrome Theatre, still operating as a variety theatre with occasional films. In November 1919 the Italian epic film “"Fabiola” was screened. On 19th December 1922 the Hippodrome Theatre was destroyed by a fire. A Woolworth’s store was built on the site.

Contributed by Ken Roe
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