King's Theatre

Colne, BB8 9DH

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Additional Info

Architects: Thomas Bell

Previous Names: Free Trade Hall, Theatre Royal, King's Theatre of Varieties & Picturedrome

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King's Theatre

The Free Trade Hall on Ivegate in Colne was opened on 5th December 1881. It was built for Robert Foulds by architect W.J. Lindley. It was remodelled by architect Thomas Bell and reopened on 23rd January 1883 as the Theatre Royal. After renovations and redecorating, it launched as the King’s Theatre on 7 August 1911. So far, it has been a live venue.

In March 1912 it was re-branded as the King’s Theatre of Varieties & Picturedrome. It is listed in the Kinematograph Year Book 1914 as the King’s Theatre of Varieties.

In KYB 1927 the owners are ‘Varieties (Colne) Ltd. who, in the form of Mr T. Lancaster, also ran the Hippodrome Theatre.

It doesn’t look to have committed exclusively to cinema use, but mixed films with a diet of variety, boxing events, talent nights, etc. Nor, according to KYB lists, did it wire for sound.

The capacity was: 1,000 in KYB 1914; 1,100 in KYB 1935 and KYB 1936; and 850 in KYB 1937 and KYB 1938. Unless there’s a mention in KYB 1939 (which I do not have), 1938 is the last listing.

According to ‘Chronicles of Pendle Picture Palaces’ by Peter Sagar for Mercia Cinema Society, the venue closed on 18th April 1936 and it was demolished in 1944.

Contributed by H J Hill

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

HJHill on October 7, 2015 at 5:47 am

The streetview shows the exact position of the ‘Free Trade Hall’ as shown on a street map of Colne dated 1890.

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