The History of The Theatre Royal, Hyde, Manchester
Built in 1902 the now disused Theatre Royale located on Corporation Street, Hyde, Manchester has a nicely preserved auditorium and an excellent projection booth full of 3 large projectors. The building opened as a Theatre in 1902 with a seating capacity of 1000 and briefly operated as a Cinema in 1914 when its name changed to New Royal Cinema. This was, however, short-lived and the name reverted back to Theatre Royal as pantomimes became the regular performance of choice. In 1950 the building was used as a repertory theatre for two years before reverting back to a Cinema use with only the occasional Christmas pantomime being performed. The last formal theatre performance took place in 1972 after which time the building was used completely as a Cinema until its closure in 1992. Demolition consent was obtained in 1999 with plans to redevelop the site for housing however, the building was spot-listed in 2000 preventing the demolition. A preservation trust was established in 2001 Theatre Royal Onward and they continue to fight for the preservation of the building. Most recently the building was reported to have been sold to The Islamic Resource Centre in November 2016.
This was quite an unusual explore given the location of the building being attached to a live theatre. Co-incidentally the theatre next door had a performance on when we were exploring and the noise of the laughter and participation from the building next door echoed through the empty auditorium as we photographed it. It was strange and surreal having a distant muffled soundtrack of the building going on in the background but for me, it really made the explore all the more interesting. First stop was the projector room… Wow! probably one of the best and most well preserved I have seen. 2 large Kalee Projectors and another even bigger projector behind it, plenty of film reels and a cool little record player. The auditorium itself was cosy and had 2 balconies decorated with plasterwork. The stage still had its golden curtains hanging above it covered in dust, all in all, an awesome Cinema explore, enjoy the photos:
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