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Details about Palladium

The Palladium Theatre, Northgate, Hartlepool. Later became Pat's Prize Bingo.

The Palladium was opened as The New Theatre Royal on the 7th May 1866, replacing a temporary wooden structure that had stood on the same site for some years. The New Theatre Royal, located on the corner of Brig Open and Northgate, was built at a cost of £3000 and had an audience capacity of 1500. The theatre was owned by Christopher Humble, owner of the nearby Cleveland Hotel. It functioned as a purveyor of 'serious' drama, opera and ballet, regularly presenting Shakesperian plays such as Hamlet and Othello. During August 1876 Christopher Humble let the theatre to the Christian Mission(which was the forerunner of the Salvation Army) who used it as their 'Barracks'. General Booth on one of his visits enquired as to why, "there are no windows in the hall" was informed "it was to prevent the devil seeing in"

In 1899 Robert Everton and JW Cragg became the new owners, the opening night of the theatre was May 1st 1899 the theatre was renamed the Empress Theatre of Varieties.

Mr Everton a local business man, and Mr JW Cragg founder member of the famous Flying Craggs Acrobatioc Troupe, engaged various drama companies at the theatre with much success, often playing to full houses. However with the advent and popularity of moving pictures many provincial theatres saw an irreversable decline. 

October 1908, the ownership of the theatre passed to Charles Warren Lovesy, a London based theatre owner, who intoduced 'lantern shows' and occasional live musical performances. By December 1909 the ownership of the theatre passed to a Albert George Maxted, who acted as an agent for the previous owner. July 1914 saw a final name change when it became the Palladium, Mr Rolla Frank Parker, is registered as owner, being followed in 1917 by Thomas Thompson, who owned an extensive network of cinemas throughout the north of England.The theatre/cinema remained in the ownership of Thompson Enterprises until January 1962, when the last picture 'Whistle Down the Wind' starring Hayley Mills was shown on January 6th. A brief period as a Prize Bingo under the auspices of local showman Pat Collins, could not prevent the closure of the building, its last owners the Local Council demolished the building in September 1969.

A building that had for over 100 years provided entertainment to the community of Hartlepool


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