Report - - The Theatre Royal - Hyde - May 2018 | Theatres and Cinemas | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - The Theatre Royal - Hyde - May 2018


Got Epic?
Regular User
When i first started exploring cinemas in earnest the Theatre Royal was right near the top of my list as far as 'potential' goes, at the time however i didn't put much effort in to exploring it as it was well looked after by a group of local enthusiasts and back then i tended to give those kind of 'semi live' threatres a wide berth, not only were they already well documented i didn't feel it appropriate to be upsetting the genuinely good people who were looking after them.. Over the years a few people got permission visit tours and a few people managed to slip in the back door unnoticed but the few times i did check on it there was no easy way in. At some point work started up in the building stripping out the old temporary screen built on the stage. im not sure exactly why that happened but I was a bit disappointed id not seen it by that point as i think thats when a lot of its 'intact charm' was lost. I should have probably made more of an effort i guess! In 2016 things got worse when the building was sold to a local islamic group, Trying not to be too racist here but i have to say my experience of islamic groups and historic buildings does not really fill me with confidence that this cracking cinema has somehow been 'saved', quite the contrary in fact! The change of use to a mosque has removed a lot of the legal protection that the building did have and the new owners at the time of my visit had done little more than erect a tent in the building. The one glimmer of hope was the repairs to the roof that have been undertaken. how much choic they had in the matter i dont know, it is listed after all but I guess no one wants a wet prayer mat now do they!

So yeh it was the works on the roof that caught our eye. We were up in the area one day and stopped off for a look. It was a bad time really as one of those Islamic festivals was going on and the town was filled with brown men in robes scurrying between the various mosques that now line the streets of this once very British suburb. Strangely the theater itself didn't appear to be open but with the streets full of its potential congregation finding the right moment to get up there and have a look if there was a way in took some patience. In fact it was so busy there was no way there was going to be a window for all four of us to get in so i volunteered to go alone and see how the land lied.. After a while of slithering about on the roof i found a way in and called the others to see what was going on.. They had given up! The streets were once again filled with our Asian friends and they had escaped to one of the towns few remaining pubs. I had instructions to hurry up so that i did, i had a good run round and snapped a few photos for the collection. Thankfully the circle areas were pretty much untouched. just left as they were. The ground floor was stripped to the brick and contained said tent. i didnt spend much time down there. It was just a bit depressing, if not a bit creepy.

I have to say, even considering its fate it was still a 9/10 explore for me. What is left there untouched is simply amazing its just a shame its not as good as it once was. Hopefully its new owners prove me wrong and restore the place to its former glory!

cinematreasures said:
Opened as a live theatre on 3rd November 1902, the New Theatre Royal had 1,200 seats located in orchestra stalls, and dress circle and balcony levels which curve around the auditorium returning to the proscenium wall. It has a stage 35 feet deep with ten dressing rooms and the proscenium was 28 feet wide. It was leased as a cinema from 1914 when it was renamed the New Royal Cinema.
It was equipped with a Western Electric(WE) sound system in 1929. stayed as a cinema for most of the time – a repertory theatre company was set up for two years in 1950. Pantomime and occasional weeks of shows – usually variety – were regular features throughout. In the 1950’s it was operated by the Brennan’s Cinemas chain, followed by the G.B. Snape circuit.
However this ended in October 1972 when the stage area was converted into Cinema 2 leaving the original auditorium as Cinema 1 in very nearly its original design (the proscenium had at some time been widened).
Both cinemas closed on 17th January 1995 and demolition was only just averted by the building gaining a Grade II Listed status in April 2000.
Restoration as a theater has been mooted – as has reopening as a Asian cinema for the sizeable local Asian population, but to-date, the building has remained unused.













Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
Nice story. Great shots. Patience paid off. Shame it got sold though. Theatres are always so ornate!


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Despite this been one of my first explores and given permission it gave me chance to take my time and spend a few days on site and lucky the cinema was their too. It’s funny how Hyde had some good places, Christy’s towels was another great site.


28DL Regular User
Regular User
It's one I'd been checking on for years but it was always well secure or just far too bait. When that scaff appeared though, yeah Ideal.

Did you manage any pictures lower down where they'd done some work? We didn't get a chance any lower than your shots as we got rumbled by some workers. They were sound, just carted us off.


Got Epic?
Regular User
Nah i didnt bother with pictures down there. Wasnt really anything left. The stage area was stripped to the brick and they had erected their tent and put carpet down in the stalls. Was a bit on edge there might be someone in there myself!


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
pity you didnt get into royal 2 projection room which was in one of the dressing rooms i spent alot of my time here my mate was projectionist for 40 years here and caretaker when it closed till he died a few years ago


28DL Member
28DL Member
Wow. excellent pics well done, love the valve amplifier...probably used to drive the speaker system..would love to have that in my system...if anyone finds any valves lying around let me know...will donate money back to website!


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Nice report that, some great pics too, the roof doesn’t look too great though if they’ve fixed it. Some nice old gear too.

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