Northumberland Road,
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8JF

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Additional Info

Architects: Thomas Ridley Milburn, William Milburn

Firms: Joseph H. Morton & Son

Styles: Baroque

Previous Names: White City

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Located in Newcastle upon Tyne city centre on Northumberland Avenue, adjacent to the 1,600-seat Olympia Cinema (which has its own page on Cinema Treasures). The White City was built in 1909 as a roller skating rink. It was designed by architectural firm J.H. Morton & Son. The exterior was inspired by London’s White City exhibition in Shepherds Bush in 1908. It had a large dome, which topped a stuccoed fa├žade. The roller skating fad was very brief, and the White City was converted into a cinema in 1910. There were strong objections from the adjacent Olympia Cinema and it was soon closed. From February to August 1912 it became the Dreamland Ballroom de Luxe.

It was taken over by Charles Gulliver’s Variety Theatres Controlling Company Ltd. and was partially rebuilt to the plans of Sunderland based architects William Milburn & Thomas Ridley Milburn. The huge dome on the front of the building was removed and it was renamed Hippodrome (not to be confused with the Hippodrome Theatre, also on Northumberland Road, which has its own page on Cinema Treasures). Seating was provided for 2,703 when it opened on 23rd November 1912 as a variety theatre. It had a Cinematograph Licence to screen films when needed. The Hippodrome was closed on 20th May 1933.

In recent years a Pizza Palace has operated on the site of the Hippodrome.

Contributed by Ken Roe
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