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Chester Royalty Theatre (1882 - 1966)



  • Existence: 1882 - 1966


The Chester Royalty Theatre in City Road first opened its doors in 1882. The Royalty was built on the site of a primitive theatre, known as The Prince of Wales, where music hall acts of poor quality were mainly presented to the railway workers for years. The new theatre was initially called The New Royalty Theatre and soon it became a hit with the locals, showing a programme of pantomimes and high quality music hall acts and as early as 1898 the newly developed moving pictures.

In 1905, the theatre was sold to theatre promoter and impresario Milton Bode (1860-1938) and partners, who built a skating rink next to it.

Between 1932 and 1961 the Royalty changed owners and managers several times, who modernised the venue and the acts over the decades. Eventually, however, it suffered the same fate as most variety theatres in the United Kingdom, and the decline in audience caused by the advent of cinema and television forced it to close in 1966. After this the building was used as a cabaret, bingo, wrestling venue, indoor skateboard park and nightclub until 2001 when it was demolished.

Found in 3 Collections and/or Records:

Chester Royalty Theatre Poster, Week commencing 4 July 1932

Reference code: 178R38.11
Scope and Contents

Colin Wark presents, Troise and the Mandoliers, Gerard Snoeck the squeeze-box merchant, Handby Celeine Trio in skatorial moments, Mayfair Sisters two grass widows in something different, Bert Hopping mountain of mirth, Betty Bruce feminine but funny, Ivor John from Covent Garden & Carl Rosa Opera Co., Revill and Syd versatility personified. Blue and red type on cream background. Printed by Taplen & Paddock Printers, Cuppin Street, Chester.

Dates: Week commencing 4 July 1932

Handby Celeine Collection

Reference code: NFA0107
Scope and Contents

Posters, photographs, programmes, 1 piece of sheet music for six instruments and a small amount of business records and correspondence relating to the dancing and burlesque comedy on skates.

Dates: c1920 - 1945; 2020

Posters, c1920 - 1939

Reference code: 178R38
Scope and Contents

British theatre posters presenting Handby Celeine acts among others.

Dates: c1920 - 1939