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Hippodrome, Middlesbrough
Cinema Address:
61 Wilson Street, Middlesbrough, TS1 1SF
Period of Thompson Ownership:
1910-1928. Hippodrome Theatre bought from liquidator for £13,000. It came with an 18 piece orchestra. Sold to Denman Picture Houses Ltd.
How Acquired by Thompson:
Bought for £13,000
Architect/Design:
Architect was George F Ward of Birmingham, when originally built as a theatre in 1906 "Externally it is a building of brick, faced with buff terracotta, handsomely carved. The entrance is sheltered by a porch of glass. One great advantage possessed by the hall lies in the fact that waiting rooms have been provided for gathering audiences for every part of the house … … … The whole hall has a light and cheerful appearance, and general admiration is expressed at the effective plastic decorations which have been done in the style of Louis XV., in gold, white, and cream, relieved with grey and blue." Alterations in 1913 to enhance cinema use. The stage had a proscenium width of 40ft, a stage depth of 35ft and generous wing space.
Other Info:
It had cost £23,000 to build and opened on 17th August 1908 under manager Signor Rino Pepi with a variety programme including Arthur Prince, Florrie Ford, and Jock White. However it was not a financial success until bought by Tommy Thompson in 1910 for £13,000. It continued with variety and film until modified in 1913 to be predominantly a cinema.
Fate of the Cinema:
The auditorium was drastically updated in the 1930s and again in 1954. In the 1930s the two balcony fronts had all decoration taken off and the boxes were removed. The stage remained unaltered at that time. Since closure as a cinema in 1956 the auditorium was further altered to create the Astoria Ballroom in 1959 and another part the Showboat Social Club in 1968. Other occupiers were The Venue nightclub in 1991, and Wonderland Bingo Club, Eventually it became two nightclubs and then part of the auditorium the Chicago Rock Cafe. In 1988 it became Grade II listed. Now closed and derelict (2015)
Location Accuracy: Accurate
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Information below is taken from The Kinematograph Yearbooks. The Page reference is from the following year’s edition, when information appeared. Additional information is in italics

Year Ownership Population Seating Capacity Other cinemas in town Manager Shows per day Changes Weekly Prices Variety Sound System Other cinemas with sound Kinematograph Year Book reference
1910 Thomas Thompson
1911 Thomas Thompson
1912 Thomas Thompson
1913 Thomas Thompson 104767 3000 5 348
1914 Thomas Thompson 104767 3000 4 481
1915 Thomas Thompson 104767 3000 6 377
1916 Thomas Thompson 104767 2750 6 425
1917 Thomas Thompson 116546 2760 5 492
1918 Thomas Thompson 150000 2760 5 300
1919 Thomas Thompson 150000 2750 4 R F Parker 379
1920 North of England Cinemas Ltd. 140000 2600 6 R F Parker 3 2 4d - 1s 3d 450
1921 North of England Cinemas Ltd. 131103 2750 6 R F Parker 3 2 4d - 1s 3d 445
1922 North of England Cinemas Ltd. 104767 2750 6 R F Parker 3 2 4d - 1s 3d 442
1923 North of England Cinemas Ltd. 131103 2750 8 3 2 4d - 1s 3d 452
1924 North of England Cinemas Ltd. 131103 2750 7 3 2 4d - 1s 3d 400
1925 North of England Cinemas Ltd. 131103 2750 6 3 2 4d - 1s 3d 381
1926 North of England Cinemas Ltd. 131103 2750 6 3 2 4d - 1s 3d
1927 North of England Cinemas Ltd. 131103 2750 6 3 2 4d - 1s 3d 440
1928 North of England Cinemas Ltd.
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