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Argyle Theatre Collection

Reference code: NFA0117

Scope and Contents

This collection contains a large number of posters as well as business records including records of artist bookings, accounts, scrapbooks, contracts and correspondence.


  • Creation: 1865 - 1941


Conditions Governing Access

Items are available to view by appointment in the NFCA reading room

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be supplied or produced at the discretion of National Fairground Archive, subject to copyright law and condition of the material

Biographical / Historical

The Argyle Music Hall in Birkenhead was opened in 1868 and staged many variety acts of the day.

The name was changed to The Prince Of Wales Theatre from 1876 to 1890, and was used mainly to stage plays. In 1890, the focus returned to music hall and variety and the theatre was renamed the Argyle Theatre.

Manager Denis J. Clarke ran the Argyle Theatre for 45 years from 1890 to 1935 developing the theatre to make it became one of the most well known theatres in the country playing host to many variety acts of the day.

As well as music hall and variety, the Argyle Theatre often had early film and also was the first theatre to have radio broadcasts.

During the Second World War, the theatre was bombed, taking a direct hit. It was never rebuilt.


12 Box(es) (330 posters, 5 books of artistes bookings and payments, 2 books of wage payments, 5 books listing programmes, 4 financial ledgers, 1 book listing programming to assist local charities, 1 book of letter headed paper with carbon copies, 8 large scrapbooks of newspaper cuttings)

Language of Materials



Catalogued according to type

Related Materials

Cyril Critchlow Collection

Created by Jane Donaldson, updated by Arantza Barrutia on Finding Aid Date field date
6 June 2014
Description rules
International Standard for Archival Description - General
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the National Fairground and Circus Archive Repository

The University of Sheffield
Western Bank
Sheffield South Yorkshire S10 2TN United Kingdom
0114 222 7231