Prince of Wales Theatre

Totnes, TQ9 5AA

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Additional Info

Functions: Housing

Previous Names: Seymour Picturedrome

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Prince of Wales Theatre

By the 1800s, Totnes, in Devon, was growing rapidly. In 1828, a new bridge was opened which led to the development, by the Duke of Somerset, across the river from the main town, of a road, and area, that came to be known as Bridgetown. The Duke was very active in Totnes, constructing quays and warehouses along the river and building the Seymour Hotel in Bridgetown.

The Prince of Wales Theatre was built alongside the Seymour Hotel in around 1856. It had a flat, multi-purpose floor. Into the 1910’s, the stage was 15ft deep and the proscenium 16ft wide.

Presumably film presentations were included in variety shows in those early years, but it was not until 1914 when films took on a much more significant presence, and the hall was renamed the Seymour Picturedrome. These shows were initially run by the Palladium Picture Company, of Dartmouth, then, by around 1919, by Mrs M. Ramsden, the new owner of the hotel.

However, she halted the film shows in 1920. Until its demise, in 1928, the hall reverted to its original name of the Prince of Wales Theatre, presenting exclusively live shows.

It is not known what subsequently happened to the theatre building, although presumably it was absorbed into the hotel. The Seymour Hotel itself closed down at some stage, and is now home to flats, called, appropriately, Seymour Court.

Contributed by David Simpson
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