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The Hippodrome Theatre, Church Street, Blackpool.

The Hippodrome Theatre, Church Street, Blackpool c1905. CLICK HERE to view a recent picture of the building.

In 1900 The Empire was renamed The Hippodrome and it became a circus with a Louis Taussard Waxwork Exhibition in the basement. At the time of the Boer War there were bioscope shows.

The Hippodrome was sold in 1910 to cinema interests and although it continued to stage live shows it was also hosting silent movies.

 

 'The Empire' had become 'The Hippodrome' and was purchased by ABC.Coconut Grove, starring Josef Locke & Julie Andrews, the Hippodrome, Blackpool, 1949. In 1929 the Hippodrome was purchased (along with the Princess Cinema) by Associated British Cinemas (ABC) and it was here that the first 'talking pictures' in Blackpool were shown "The Singing Fool" starring Al Johnson.

The Hippodrome became one of the leading cinemas in the Northern England, playing selected pre-release films out of season and presenting leading live-shows during the summer. Despite the fact that the theatre had been purchased by a cinema syndicate, the Hippodrome continued to stage live shows; below are two programmes from 1949 & 1953.

 

Coconut Grove, starring Josef Locke & Julie Andrews, the Hippodrome, Blackpool, 1949. Click to enlarge image.
Coconut Grove, starring Josef Locke & Julie Andrews, the Hippodrome, Blackpool, 1949. Also on the bill are Nat Allen, Wally Boag, Jimmy Jewel & Ben Warriss, Jean Carson, Moskani and the Godfery Brothers. Click to enlarge image.
Latin Quarter starring Max Bygraves and Hylda Baker, the Hippodrome, Blackpool, 1953. Click to enlarge image.
Latin Quarter starring Max Bygraves and Hylda Baker, the Hippodrome, Blackpool, 1953. Click to enlarge image.
 

 

In 1962-3, the Hippodrome was remodelled and renamed the ABC Theatre.