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Exeter Hippodrome (1820 - 1942)



  • Existence: 1820 - 4 May 1942
  • Usage: 1908 - 1929
  • Usage: 1820 - 1907
  • Usage: 1929 - 4 May 1942


The Exeter Hippodrome was built in the old site of the Royal Public Rooms, which opened in 1820 at the bottom of Northernhay Place, Exeter, England.

From their inception, the Public Rooms offered a programme of concerts but by 1907 they had added moving pictures and lectures to their repertoire in line with other entertainment venues. The following year, Fred Karno bought the building and converted it into a music hall. Karno renamed the building The Hippodrome and opened it late that year, offering a range of variety entertainments. The Exeter Hippodrome remained under the management of Fred Karno until 1925, when it was sold again. By this point the popularity of music halls was suffering a decline due to the increasing popularity of the cinema, and eventually it closed its doors.

Between 1929 and 1931 under new ownership, the Exeter Hippodrome was converted to a cinema and renamed the Plaza Cinema. The Plaza continued operating until it was destroyed by bombs on 4 May 1942, on the worst blitz to be endured by Devon during the Second World War.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Exeter Hippodrome Poster, 23 April for six nights c1920 - 1929

Reference code: 178R38.3
Scope and Contents Miss Nora Bancroft presents, Playtime, the original cabaret production with Syd Christo & Jack Strand, the laughter makers, Violet Field, commediane, Claude Worth, baritone, Joan Wells, at the piano and Nora Lamb, soubrette and Nora Bancroft, contralto, The Playtime Girls, comedy, The Leo Sax Trio, comedy, music, song and dance, Sydney and Adelaine, Australian entertainers, Pathe super gazette, Hippodrome orchestra, directed by Mr Syd Beckett, Handby and Celeine in skatorial moments,...
Dates: 23 April for six nights c1920 - 1929

Posters, c1920 - 1939

Reference code: 178R38
Scope and Contents

British theatre posters presenting Handby Celeine acts among others.

Dates: c1920 - 1939