Report - - The Palace Theatre - Nelson - 2/5/10 | Theatres and Cinemas | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - The Palace Theatre - Nelson - 2/5/10


Got Epic?
Regular User
Well, where do we start with this one! theres alot to tell, dispite its slightly bland external apperance its a throughly interesting place!

I first visited the Palace just after christmas but that day it was just a recce with the Burnley Empire getting most of my attention. However a week or so ago word came through of plans for the imminant demolition of this amazing building and i just knew i had to go out of my way to get in there and atleast see whats left, if not show people what idiots the council are being by allowing demolition of such a good theatre! They only want it for a carpark for gods sake and its not just that, eveytime ive been up there the existing carpark behind has been empty! what is going on Nelson?!

Never the less i headed up there with Dweeb, Raddog and Laura to see what we could do. Kindly Squirrel had allready done a bit of a recce and let us know the score and with that we found a blatent, yet fairly simple way to get inside. Its great when the forum works that way and things get done rather than people being cagey and glory hunting. Big thanks for your help mate!

The building has a bit of an unfortuante history, originaly a grand theatre, it was castraited in the early 80s when they built a new road slap bang through its front lobby leaving it an externaly bland looking box without the usual cinema frontage. Inside the 'gods' and flytower were sealed off and the building got the usual gordy paint job and bingo conversion. Its not quite as bad as the Wallsend Borough but for me the place had a simlar feel. I didnt find it very photogenic, yet under the paint the plasterwork is fantastic and in very good condition. We didnt manage to get right up into the gods, the spoil from the 1980s demolition had apparently bloacked the only staircase! We did however find our way into some great 'sealed off' areas that had escaped modernisation and the probably put this one in my top five derelict theatres.

In the end we saw no sign of final demolition, dispite activity outside in April suggesting the time was neigh! hopefully it stays for a while longer, or maybe even gets saved!

theaterstrust said:
Opening on 13 December 1909, the Palace Theatre & Hippodrome seated c.2,000. The architects were the Liverpool and Burnley practice of Matthew, Watson, Landless & Pearse. John Moorhouse & Son were accountants for the Nelson Palace & Hippodrome Company, and William Benson the managing director. The Palace was a variety theatre until 1922 when it became a super cinema. It then went over to repertory until the 1940s, later becoming a bingo hall, as which it closed in July 2009. The exterior of the theatre was altered for road widening in 1979, removing the corner square-towered entrance and shops, and leaving only the brick side walls of the auditorium. The interior, designed and decorated by plasterwork specialists A R Dean & Co, has slightly curved balconies, their fronts divided into panels with fine plasterwork cartouches. The upper balcony directly abuts the side walls, with the decorative treatment of the front continued along the walls as panels and cartouches. The first balcony has short slips running into the principal visual feature of the auditorium: a single box on each side set between giant ionic columns supporting an open-topped segmental pediment, all richly decorated. Rectangular proscenium with an enriched frame. Flat ceiling with an enriched circular central panel and plasterwork bolection mouldings. Although the level of the stalls floor has been altered and the stage has a false ceiling, the theatre could be restored to theatre or alternative use. The theatre is threatened with demolition (2009) having been purchased by the Local Authority for use as a temporary car park, as part of a Masterplan for the town centre of Nelson.
















Squirrell 911

Regular User
No worries mate :thumb.

I live closer to this place than you so it saved you a ballache if it was tight.

Heres some of my pics from when I was there.