Hippodrome Theatre

46 St. Nicholas Street,
Ipswich, IP1 1TT

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Associated British Cinemas Ltd., Bostock Cinema Circuit

Architects: Frank Matcham

Firms: Frank Matcham & Company

Styles: Art Nouveau

Previous Names: Hippodrome Cinema

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 Hippodrome Theatre

The Hippodrome Theatre was opened 25th October 1905. It had seating in orchestra stalls and a single balcony. There were no boxes. The proscenium was 30 feet wide and the stage 25 feet deep, with five dressing rooms.

It was a variety theatre and around eight years after opening, it became part of the E.H. Bostock chain of variety theatres. Films were screened as part of the variety programme from the early years.

In 1929 it was taken over by the Associated British Cinemas(ABC) chain, and became a full time cinema, although some stage shows were retained in the programming. Later taken over by Regis Entertainments, from September 1955, it was taken over by an independent operator and returned to live theatre use. The Hippodrome Theatre was closed in April 1957.

In 1958, under new owners, the exterior was modernised, and the stalls floor leveled and it became the Savoy Ballroom from June 1959. In the late-1960’s it became a bingo club, operated as a Top Rank Bingo Club and the original Frank Matcham decorations were removed, apart from the ceiling, leaving a rather plain auditorium. Bingo ceased in the early-1980’s.

The building was demolished in 1985, and an office block named Cardinal House was built on the site.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

CSWalczak on December 22, 2010 at 12:24 pm

This webpage has an old postcard view of the Hippodrome in Ipswich and a picture of the same site as it looks today: View link

mrhh on July 12, 2014 at 6:24 pm

I lost my last comment but I was about to say the pantomime I saw featured a mouse running across a grocers shop followed by a piece of cheese and a man who sew a patch on the bottom of his trousers through his legs! Hope this may jog a few memories. Best wishes Mike

mrhh on July 12, 2014 at 6:36 pm

My first comment concerned a trip with my grandmother to see Max Miller. I remember a very glittery men in plus fours who had the audience, including my Gran, in stitches although the jokes were obviously over my head.Can anybody remember the one word name of the pianist who sometimes played in the'pit': was it Mac? Best

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