Theatre Royal

31 Lord Street,
Leigh, WN7 1AB

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Additional Info

Architects: J.C. Prestwich

Previous Names: Theatre Royal and Opera House

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Theatre Royal

Located in Leigh, Lancashire, now part of Greater Manchester and to the southeast of Wigan. The Theatre Royal was at the corner of Lord Street and Bold Street. It was built on the site of an earlier wooden constructed Theatre Royal. The brick built Theatre Royal was opened on 2nd February 1885 with the musical play “My Sweetheart”. It was designed by architect J.C. Prestwick based in Leigh. The theatre was extensively rebuilt in 1901 and gallery seating area was added, which increased the capacity (including standing room) from 1,700 to 2,000 persons (actual seating capacity is unknown). It had been renamed Theatre Royal and Opera House. By July 1909 it was screening films.

In the summer of 1920 it was refurbished and the gallery seating area was removed. The seating capacity was given as 900-seats. By 1937 it had been renamed Theatre Royal again and was operating as a theatre, but with some use as a cinema. This dual use continued until it was closed on 27th February 1954 with the play “First Night”.

It was converted into the Casino Ballroom, which over the years attracted bands such as The Beatles, and singer Cliff Richard and all round entertainer Max Bygraves. In 1983 it was converted into Reubens nightclub with most of the original interior decoration removed. That closed in 1996 and the building then stood deteriorating until it was demolished in 2008.

A block of sheltered housing named Ruebens Court was built on the site in 2009.

Contributed by Ken Roe
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