Stoke-on-Trent - Advert of the week

contents: 2009 adverts

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Theatre Royal, Pall Mall, Hanley

Advert for the Royal Theatre, Hanley - 60's Rock & Roll Reunion
Advert for the Royal Theatre, Hanley - 60's Rock & Roll Reunion

The Silent Stage - A Tribute to the Royal Theatre


Theatre Royal
Pall Mall, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent

 "The first Theatre was a small structure ; it was on the same ground as it is now, only the entrance was in Brunswick Street, and the front faced up Frederick Street—then a cul-de-sac, but it contained, in 1857, the first Mechanics’ Institution, now the School of the Primitive Methodists.
This Theatre was of poor appearance. It was the old Chapel of the Primitive Methodists. In the front of it, at one time, it had a small approach, fenced off; and two small windows; towards the apex of the gable, or roof a round hole, for ventilation.
The populace were still prejudiced with regard to these places, a prejudice inherited from the time of the Rebellion, at which time - by Act of Parliament - all ‘Theatres were suppressed.
The advent of Railways soon made possible the quicker modes of conveyance, and the discontinuance of the old “Stock” Companies.
Mr. James Rodgers was the lessee for some years, then his principal (Mr. John Windley). About 1875 a new construction was commenced which was of larger dimensions and more convenient. To this succeeded the present structure, with its entrance in Pall Mall. This latter alteration caused other fine buildings in lower Pall Mall to supersede the small yellow-washed cottages it still contained, so that this street would be unrecognisable to an absentee native, as it is to-day, with its lofty elevations."

Old Times in the Potteries, W Scarratt, 1906 


In 1994 Potteries Theatre (Management) Ltd announced plans to put the building into voluntary liquidation. It was acquired by London business man Don Stewart on November 1st.    

The closure of the Theatre was announced on 23rd April 1996. An application to "List" the building was turned down. The Theatre's contents were auctioned on August 3.
On November 1st 1996, Mike Lloyd announced that he was the new owner of the Theatre.

By June of 1997 a major £1.2 million refurbishment commenced to bring the venue back in line with many venues across the country.   
This included the complete rewiring of the venue, (Stage Electric alone cost over £100,000) replacing of all the seats in the stalls with brand new seating which, if required could be removed and stored thus giving the venue a "multi purpose" capacity allowing it for the first time in its history to promote standing Pop and Rock shows.    
The auditorium was completely repainted and a brand new "Royal" crest was positioned above the Proscenium heralding in the venue's new name of simply "The Royal".
The entire dressing room block was refurbished and all of this was done in time for the official opening ceremony performed on stage at just after 3pm on Saturday 29th November 1997 by Ken Dodd. 


The Royal - after refurbishment and renaming in 1997




contents: 2009 adverts