Hippodrome Theatre

Grange Road,
Birkenhead, CH41

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Ohmy's Grand Circus, Gaiety Music Hall, Metropole Theatre, Hippodrome Theatre of Varieties

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Hippodrome Theatre

Located in Birkenhead, Merseyside. Ohmy’s Grand Circus was built and opened in 1888. It was designed by a Mr. Hesketh. It operated for two years as a circus and theatre. In 1890, under new management it became the Gaiety Music Hall. Another change of owner in 1898 brought a new name Metropole Theatre, which presented touring companies and melodramas.

Walter De Freece took over in 1908, and after alterations, it reopened as the Hippodrome Theatre of Varieties. Top of the bill Walter De Freece’s wife- Vesta Tilly. Seating was provided for 1,600 in orchestra, pit, dress circle, balcony and gallery levels, with standing room for 400.

Another operator took over in 1916, and by 1929 the Hippodrome Theatre was operating as a cine/variety theatre. The Hippodrome Theatre converted to full time cinema use on 31st October 1932 when it screened “Murders in the Rue Morge” supported by a variety show. It had been equipped with a Western Electric(WE) sound system. It had rear projection, with the projection box built at the back of the stage. The seating capacity had been reduced to 1,365.

The building was sold in 1934 to the Co-Operative Society to be converted into a new store, and the Hippodrome Theatre closed on 10th March 1934 with a stage show “Evening Follies”. The building was destroyed by German bombs in 1940.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Scouser on December 22, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Does anyone know what bands played at the Plaza (B-Head) in the 1960s. Did Marmalade do a gig there and does anyone know if the Hollies did a gig there? Dates as well please if possible? Kind Regards, Scouser from the one eyed city:)

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