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Report - The Embassy Bingo hall/former irving Theatre, wirral - July13

Discussion in 'Theatres and Cinemas' started by The Kwan, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. The Kwan

    The Kwan funksoul Brother
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    I had been watching the scaffold go up on this one for a little while and lately it has been scaffed right up to roof level so I went for a look with Liam (non member) who had a day off work. there has been alot of activity lately as it has just been sold at auction and the "sold" sign has been attached to the buiding, rumour has it that it will be a weatherspoons or a Mosc but no one is sure.
    Anyway it has great history and although we only went for a reccy we were gifted the opportunity of an opening and we were in.


    some History
    The Irving Theatre stood on Victoria Road (later renamed as Borough Road) and it took its name from the famous repertory actor, Sir Henry Irving (1838 - 1905), who laid the corner stone on 11th October 1899. It was understood that Sir Henry only allowed his name to be used on the condition that the theatre showed serious drama's. The theatre could hold 2,500 and opened on 18th December 1899 with 'The Sign Of The Cross'.

    The building way back when it had a tower
    [​IMG]

    and its reopening Bill
    [​IMG]
    After a fire in 1908 the theatre reopened as 'The Kings', never to be called 'The Irving Theatre' again. In 1912 the theatre was renamed again as 'La Scala' under the new management of Ludwig Blatter. The theatre went through several improvements and in August 1918 was renamed as 'The Hippodrome' under the management of Fred Ross. In March 1923 the theatre was sold to A.J Moran and renamed 'The Casino' but after 6 months it had reverted back to 'The Hippodrome' with Will J. Prescott as the manager. For a short time the theatre was called 'The Irving Repertory Theatre".

    In 1928 the theatre again was under new management and with the old name of 'The Hippodrome'. The theatre closed in 1930 and reopened in the same year with Fred Ross again as manager. Not long afterwards, the theatre closed and remained so for a while until Pat Collins purchased the theatre with Richard "Dick Batch" Batchelor as the manager and the theatre opened on 12th November 1934 with a young comedian actor Tommy Trinder appearing on stage

    The Buxton Theatre Company took over the building in 1936 and opened it as the 'Embassy'. It remained as such until forced to close because of poor attendances on 31st March 1959 when it became a bingo hall.
    Sadly the Embassy closed its doors for good in December 2012 having become a victim of the economy and online gaming.
    a more recent shot Snaffled from wikiwirral Thanks to Ian Grundy
    [​IMG]

    and a picture that was in the paper upon its grand opening
    [​IMG]

    The place is MAHOOSIVE
    a shot from the side
    [​IMG]

    We headed straight upstairs and couldnt get onto the roof but we could see evidence of its original features that the it was once more than a bingo hall.
    [​IMG]

    I think that these were used to tie off props etc
    [​IMG]

    The original stairway up to the cinema circle
    [​IMG]

    And the original doors into the circle
    [​IMG]

    More luvverly evidence that it was once more than a bingo hall
    [​IMG]

    The door to the gantry was all steel and welded to oblivion and I just couldnt figure out why, even the doorway was welded..picture isnt HDR it was just dark also I dont know what the box is on the wall with three wooden pegs in is.

    [​IMG]

    So we headed dowwnstairs into the Bingo bit and it was much more modern but still some nice features
    [​IMG]

    it was already being stripped
    [​IMG]

    The Bandits had been had by bandits
    [​IMG]

    And we hit the bar
    [​IMG]

    And the beer was still there but not working
    [​IMG]

    It closed at christmas and the Notice board confirmed it
    [​IMG]

    Bingo cards anyone?
    [​IMG]

    The lobby and more Fruities, the change machine has been ravaged
    [​IMG]

    The reception
    [​IMG]

    some tables and bingo altar
    [​IMG]

    Bit out of date
    [​IMG]

    Lastly this is a crap shot but just check out the nicotine, it was running down some of the walls in places a memory from when you could smoke in premises.
    [​IMG]

    Thanks for looking
     

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  2. scotty markfour

    scotty markfour 28DL Regular User
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    what an excellent report n pics , pics don,t have to be masterpieces , as long as it gives you an idea of the place ! ...i take my hat off to you for such an excellent find !
     
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  3. tumbles

    tumbles Trip Hopping
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    Loving that. Nice work.
     
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  4. Speed

    Speed Got Epic?
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    Whats going on there now?
     
  5. Techwreckie

    Techwreckie 28DL Regular User
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    Nice report. Better these places end up a Spoons or a mosque than get demolished!
     
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  6. The Kwan

    The Kwan funksoul Brother
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    It is apparently still up for sale, I read on wikiwirral website that concerns over the newly installed 4G masts have scuppered any plans for residential uses and there are two nearby pubs that have closed in recent years as well as a Morrisons supermarket so sadly the area appears to be in decline, although a licensed premises may still be an option but a big gamble, and only a name like Wetherspoons could probably make it happen. I do pass it fairly regularly and it always seems to be left to rot with no activity in or out but I do keep an eye on it.

    I found this bit of info too that suggests that Stan Laurel was in sleeping beauty here in 1907 as a Golliwog and his Dad also owned three theartres, a leg up in the game :)
    .......
    In October, 1902, Mr J.H French became manager of the Irving Theatre, and under his administration musical comedy and pantomime were introduced;Floradora was performed twice in one year, and a company of juvenile artistes presented The Sleeping Beauty in February 1907. Among the cast was Wee Georgie Wood, then a talented boy of eleven and a fine mimic of well-known music hall celebrities. In the show was another young man, thought by his contemporaries to be rather too old for the show (as he was then in his teens) and decidedly 'untalented'. After a conference it decided to give this boy the part of a golliwog; in fact it was considered by some that he was given a part at all only because his father owned three of the four theatres and the producer did not want to offend him. So young Stanley Jefferson was 'suited'. The name, which meant nothing to anyone then and means nothing to people now, was later changed to Stan Laurel of the Laurel and Hardy partnership.
     
    #6 The Kwan, Jan 21, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2016
    scotty markfour likes this.
  7. Urbexbandoned

    Urbexbandoned 28DL Regular User
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    Great report, love the style of building. The inside reminds me of when I used to go to bingo with my mum. :thumb
     
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  8. tazong

    tazong 28DL Full Member
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    brilliant
     
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  9. The Kwan

    The Kwan funksoul Brother
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    Funny how kindly Mums turn into monsters when they get inside the bingo hall..shhhh no noise or laughing and woe betide anyone who calls a house that turns out to be wrong :)
    Serious shit, I have been to the bingo but they did have a bar so the experience was quite pleasant :)
     
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  10. Urbexbandoned

    Urbexbandoned 28DL Regular User
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    Haha your not wrong. If I was quiet I got to call out 'Bingo' and be rewarded with a chip butty :D
     
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  11. The Kwan

    The Kwan funksoul Brother
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    Just by way of an update, the there was speculation that this place was going to be a Mosc, then a Wetherspoons but it has now been bought by a furniture shop called Hunters, it is currently being painted grey but at least it is being used again, new windows the lot.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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