Royal Cinema

5 Ward's End,
Halifax, HX1 1DE

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Additional Info

Architects: Christopher Rowland Cooper, Richard D. Horsfall

Firms: Horsfall and Sons

Styles: Baroque

Previous Names: Theatre Royal

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Theatre Royal

The Theatre Royal, a replacement of an earlier theatre, opened in 1904/5 purely for live entertainment. A superb façade in ashlar stone in the Edwardian style dates from this period, and was designed by Richard Horsfall & Son of Halifax.

The 1,900-seat auditorium, believed to have been on 4 levels was gutted in April 1937 and to the plans of architect Christopher Rowland Cooper a new two tier 2,200-seat cinema auditorium was created which extended into the stage area. The Royal Cinema closed on February 26, 1956 with Robert Taylor in “Ivanhoe” & Johnny Weissmuller in “Tarzan and the Mermaids”.

In the early-1960’s it became a bingo hall which in turn closed in the 1990’s. Various redevelopment schemes, retaining the façade of the Grade II Listed building, but demolishing the auditorium came to nought and it re-opened as a nightclub, Chinese restaurant, and bar. Unfortunately, by 2007 these had closed and the building was ‘For Sale’.

Plans proposed in July 2022 are to build a hotel within the existing walls and above the current structure.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Ian on October 4, 2007 at 5:26 am

The nightclub has now closed and the building is boarded up and for sale. Photos taken October 2007.

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Ian on August 11, 2008 at 3:19 am

There is currently (2008) a proposal to demolish the auditorium and incorporate the facade and various other bits into a new build hotel. In truth there is virtually nothing worth saving in the much altered interior. Photos (interior and exterior) taken in August 2008 here:–

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iangrey on July 10, 2022 at 8:47 am

There is a new proposal to build a hotel within (and above) the existing walls.

Alan Baker
Alan Baker on May 13, 2024 at 4:06 am

The Royal (as it was advertised in its last decade or so) closed on Saturday February 26th 1966 after a seven day run of the revival double bill Ivanhoe and Tarzan and the Mermaids. The cafe appears to been open to the end.

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