The Decline of the Lowesmoor Music Halls

  • 16 Jan 2012
  • Theatre
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With the closing of the Alhambra as a music hall in December 1869, the New Concert Hall had only the Railway Bell in opposition, and that establishment was not listed in the Era Almanack after 1870, for though it continued as a place of entertainment, its accommodation did not match up to what was expected of the new style music hall. John Hill, of the Navigation Inn, had built the good, commodious New Concert Hall, (known by two names, for he called it the Canterbury Music Hall), and ran it for eight to nine years with indifferent success. The name was changed to the popular Prince of Wales Music Hall, and was taken over by Mr. Edward Winwood, who after similar discourageing experience, closed its doors and let it go derelict.

In fact, with the coming of the railway and the building of Foregate Street Station, the Port of Lowesmoor had lost much of its trade and importance. The commercial life of the City had moved to the Foregate and The Cross, of which the centrally places Theatre Royal (later called the Theatre Royal de Variety) took full advantage. In 1881, the Salvation Army took on the lease of the building almost without alteration, and the pay boxes remained, and the gallery was unaltered until 1906