Prince of Wales Theatre
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Previously operated by: Howard & Wyndham Ltd.
Firms: Frank Matcham & Company
Previous Names: Birmingham Royal Music Hall, Prince of Wales Operetta House
Located in Birmingham city centre. The Birmingham Royal Music Hall was opened on 3rd September 1856 with “The Messiah”. It was designed by an architect named Cranston. In 1861 Charles Dickens appeared there giving a reading of his “A Christmas Carol”. In 1862 under new management it became the Prince of Wales Operetta House, and in 1865, it was re-named Prince of Wales Theatre. It was enlarged in 1866. Further alterations were carried out in 1911 to the plans of famed theatre architect Frank Matcham working with an architect Frank A. Tugwell.
In August 1913 it began screening Charles Urban’s Kinemacolour Pictures. But this was a short lived venture, and it reverted back to live theatre use. It was one of the major playhouse theatres in Birmingham, and presented an annual pantomime each year. It was taken over by Emile Littler and became part of the Howard & Wyndham Theatres chain.
On 9th April 1941, the Prince of Wales Theatre was destroyed by German bombs when it received a direct hit on the auditorium. The remains of the building were demolished in 1987, and the new Civic and Conference Centre was built on the site.
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