On this day … 16 January 1905

The Royal Hippodrome Theatre, Preston
Source: Barney Smith’s Preston Digital Archive

On 16 January 1905 the Hippodrome Theatre on Friargate opened.

There were two houses every night, and on opening night both were packed. The star of the show on opening night was the singer and comedian Charles Coborn, best known for popularising the song ‘The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo’, which he featured in his act that night.

In the 1940s it changed its name to the Royal Hippodrome and soon after it was staging plays by the Preston Repertory Company. In 1954 Leonard Rossiter auditioned for the company, just three years before the theatre closed. It was demolished in 1959.

Source: http://www.arthurlloyd.co.uk/PrestonTheatres.htm#hipp

The Royal Hippodrome Theatre Preston 1959
The Royal Hippodrome Theatre Preston 1959. Seen during demolition in 1959 to make way for the C&A store.

2 thoughts on “On this day … 16 January 1905

  1. The Hippodrome as it was usually called was home to the Reginald Salberg Players, a well known and highly gifted repertory company. One of the most celebrated actresses was Peggy Mount whose stentorian tones became famous in later years when she moved into television dramas. Frederick Jaeger, Derek Benfield, Stephanie Cole, John Barren, John Dearth and Leonard Rossiter were regular performers, all of whom went on to outstanding television careers later on. The demise of this sorely loved theatre was sorely felt although it no doubt contributed to the many amateur groups which have entertained Prestonians over the years.

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  2. I like your daily posts. This one on the Hippodrome brought back many memories. i went to pantomimes there in the fifties and I was taken there by my great aunt to see Showboat – surely politically incorrect these days. I remember going with a school group from Winckley Square Park School in 1957 for a performance telling us about the history of theatre and the masks of comedy and tragedy. I remember the awful C and A built on this site. I now live in Far North Queensland and really enjoy your snippets of Preston past. Thank you.

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