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Tameside Hippodrome

A Grade II Listed Building in Ashton-under-Lyne, Tameside

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.4878 / 53°29'16"N

Longitude: -2.0972 / 2°5'50"W

OS Eastings: 393645

OS Northings: 399018

OS Grid: SJ936990

Mapcode National: GBR FXS3.RF

Mapcode Global: WHB9J.RLJJ

Plus Code: 9C5VFWQ3+44

Entry Name: Tameside Hippodrome

Listing Date: 15 September 2009

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1393438

English Heritage Legacy ID: 505878

Location: Tameside, OL6

County: Tameside

Electoral Ward/Division: St Peter's

Built-Up Area: Ashton-under-Lyne

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater Manchester

Church of England Parish: Ashton-under-Lyne The Good Shepherd

Church of England Diocese: Manchester

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Description

ASHTON UNDER LYNE

1478/0/10033 OLDHAM ROAD
15-SEP-09 TAMESIDE HIPPODROME

II
Theatre and cinema. Theatre 1904 with major interior refit as cinema and theatre in 1933. Original architect J J Alley, refurbished in 1933 in Art Deco style by Drury and Gomersall. Brick with slate roof.

PLAN: Double-height auditorium refurbished in 1930s with single balcony, original deep stage, with two levels of dressing rooms to rear. Foyer, with 1930s crush lounge and cafeteria, now theatre bar, on first floor.

EXTERIOR: Main façade is on Oldham Road. Red brick in English garden wall bond, hipped roof with central gable. Two storeys, with three structural bays; slightly projecting central bay with modern triangular pediment. Outer bays retain original parapets terminating in ball finials. Large, paired windows set in slight recess to outer bays of first floor, stone sills and lintels, dentil bands at head of recesses and across façade at sill level, and band course above. Original window apertures with 1930s metal frames and glazing, with fan-patterning to upper lights. Central bay rendered and painted blue. Four first-floor windows. Outer windows also original apertures with 1930s frames and glazing, narrower inner windows dating in their entirety from the 1930s, when they were placed either side of a central projecting fin (removed). Modern band course in line with original, modern signage above. Ground floor has wide central entrance of four, modern glazed and timber double doors. Modern canopy above with central triangular pediment and modern signage. To either side the original shop fronts have been infilled and the outer bays tiled, with modern timber pilasters and entablature. Circular Tameside Metropolitan Council blue plaque celebrating 100 years of entertainment at the Tameside Hippodrome (1904-2004).

INTERIOR: Substantially intact auditorium refurbished in 1933, with 1933 balcony, and original deep stage. Proscenium arch with richly moulded plaster surround. Auditorium canted to either side of stage with geometric pierced organ grilles capped by sunbursts. Balcony front has clean, curved lines with horizontal grooves. Balcony cantilevered to allow uninterrupted view from stalls. Art Deco decorative plasterwork throughout includes pilasters with sunburst capitals at stall level and fluted pilasters at circle level, geometric friezes, those at circle level with anthemion motifs, shell niches with concealed lighting, cornices, ceiling plasterwork, and ventilators. To rear of stage are two levels of dressing room opening off corridors running across the building and other ancillary rooms. Original actors' entrance off Cotton Street with stage door office. Access beneath stage area retains original heavy fire doors. Modern breeze-block dressing rooms inserted in former electrical room to rear of building are not of special interest. Foyer retains 1933 compartmented and deeply coffered ceiling with wavy and geometric plasterwork. Box office counter is a modern insertion and not of special interest. First floor above foyer was entirely remodelled in 1933 refit. Cafeteria, now theatre bar, has geometric frieze and wavy cornice. Bar fixtures and fittings modern and not of special interest. Crush lounge has canted ceiling and Art Deco features include a geometric frieze, door architraves, glazed and timber screen with double doors.

HISTORY: The theatre opened as the Empire Hippodrome on 21 November 1904. It was built for William Henry Broadhead and Sons, and formed part of the north-western Broadhead Circuit. It had a three-tier auditorium and many famous music hall stars performed here. In 1933 the building was sold to the Union Cinema Group. The auditorium was completely reconstructed in an Art Deco style by Drury and Gomersall, who removed the gallery and private boxes, and installed a single 600 seat circle. It reopened on 4 November 1933 as The New Empire and was used for films and variety shows. In 1935 Drury and Gomersall redesigned the façade with a curved entrance canopy and tall rectangular pediment with central curved fin. In the late 1930s it was acquired by Associated British Cinemas, later ABC, who ran it until 1974. It was subsequently leased, and then bought in 1983 by Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council.

SOURCES: John Earl & Michael Sell, the Theatres Trust Guide to British Theatres 1750-1950, (London, 2000), 5.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION
The Tameside Hippodrome is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* The Tameside Hippodrome retains its double-height auditorium undivided, and with its particular Art Deco scheme substantially intact, retaining a rich period character which evokes the inter-war glamour and escapism of the genre.
* The foyer and first-floor crush lounge and cafeteria, now the theatre bar, which were remodelled in the 1930s refit of this 1904 theatre, retain 1930s Art Deco plasterwork detailing which complements the auditorium.
* The 1930s Art Deco scheme to its interior is by the architects' practice of Drury and Gomersall who specialised in cinema architecture
* It is a good example of an Edwardian theatre later converted to cinema usage, which is becoming rare.

Reasons for Listing

The Tameside Hippodrome is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* The Tameside Hippodrome retains its double-height auditorium undivided, and with its particular Art Deco scheme substantially intact, retaining a rich period character which evokes the inter-war glamour and escapism of the genre.
* The foyer and first-floor crush lounge and cafeteria, now the theatre bar, which were remodelled in the 1930s refit of this 1904 theatre, retain 1930s Art Deco plasterwork detailing which complements the auditorium.
* The 1930s Art Deco scheme to its interior is by the architects' practice of Drury and Gomersall who specialised in cinema architecture
* It is a good example of an Edwardian theatre later converted to cinema usage, which is becoming rare.

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