Playhouse Theatre, Manchester

Last updated
Playhouse Theatre
Hulme Hippodrome
Grand Junction Theatre
Junction Picture Theatre
The Playhouse [1]
Address Warwick Street, Hulme
United Kingdom
Coordinates 53°27′51″N2°14′58″W / 53.4643°N 2.2494°W / 53.4643; -2.2494 Coordinates: 53°27′51″N2°14′58″W / 53.4643°N 2.2494°W / 53.4643; -2.2494
Opened 1902 [1]
Closed 1986 [1]

The Playhouse Theatre, originally known as the Hulme Hippodrome, was built in Hulme, Manchester, between 1901 and 1902 and opened on 6 October 1902. It and the nearby Grand Junction Theatre, built at the same time, were part of the theatrical empire of W. H. Broadhead. The two theatres were connected by an arcade, at the centre of which was Broadhead's company headquarters. [2]

Hulme area of Manchester

Hulme is an inner city area and electoral ward of Manchester, England, immediately south of Manchester city centre. It has a significant industrial heritage.

Manchester City and metropolitan borough in England

Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England, with a population of 545,500 as of 2017. It lies within the United Kingdom's second-most populous built-up area, with a population of 3.2 million. It is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and an arc of towns with which it forms a continuous conurbation. The local authority is Manchester City Council.

Hulme Hippodrome theatre in Hulme, Manchester, England

The Hulme Hippodrome, originally known as the Grand Junction Theatre and Floral Hall, opened in Preston Street, Hulme, Manchester, on 7 October 1901. It and the nearby Playhouse Theatre in Warwick Street, built at the same time, were part of the theatrical empire of W. H. Broadhead. The two venues were connected by an arcade, at the centre of which was Broadhead's company headquarters. The architect was J.J. Alley. Initially the theatre staged mainly dramatic productions, while the Playhouse presented variety performances, but in 1905 the names and functions of the theatres were interchanged: the Hippodrome became the Grand Junction, and the variety performances were transferred to the new Hippodrome.


The Hippodrome presented mainly variety acts, while the Grand Junction concentrated on staging dramatic productions. In 1905 the names of the theatres were interchanged: the Hippodrome became the Grand Junction, and the variety performances were transferred to the new Hippodrome. Some time around 1929 the building was converted into a cinema, and was renamed the Junction Picture Theatre. It was sold in 1950 and converted back into a theatre, renamed The Playhouse. The first performance in the newly converted theatre took place on 22 January 1951, The Happiest Days of Your Life , a farce that had recently been made into a film. In 1956 the BBC bought The Playhouse as a production venue for radio and television shows, the first of which, a televised revue entitled Call It A Day, was broadcast in 1956. The last BBC production in the theatre took place on 25 August 1986. [2] With funding provided by Manchester City Council and other groups, the building was subsequently bought and converted into an arts centre, now called the Nia Centre, which contains a 900-seat theatre. [3]

<i>The Happiest Days of Your Life</i> 1950 film by Frank Launder

The Happiest Days of Your Life is a 1950 British comedy film directed by Frank Launder, based on the play by John Dighton. The two men also wrote the screenplay. It is one of a stable of classic British film comedies produced by Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat for British Lion Film Corporation. The film was made on location and at Riverside Studios, London. In several respects, including some common casting, it was a precursor of the more anarchic St. Trinian's films of the 1950s.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London, and it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees. It employs over 20,950 staff in total, 16,672 of whom are in public sector broadcasting. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time, flexible, and fixed-contract staff are included.

Manchester City Council Local government body in England

Manchester City Council is the local government authority for Manchester, a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. It is composed of 96 councillors, three for each of the 32 electoral wards of Manchester. The council is controlled by the Labour Party and led by Sir Richard Leese. The opposition is formed by the Liberal Democrats and led by former Manchester Withington MP John Leech. Joanne Roney is the chief executive. Many of the council's staff are based at Manchester Town Hall.

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  • Rudyard, Nigel; Wyke, Terry (1994), Manchester Theatres, Bibliography of North West England, ISBN   978-0-947969-18-9  
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