Last Updated:

13 Aug 2020

Theatre Royal, Wallsend

Wallsend, North Tyneside

54.989826, -1.539487

This is a

Theatre

Founded in 

1893

Current status is

Demolished

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The site is now occupied by housing

From the years 1893 to 1906 a theatre stood in Portugal Place, Wallsend on Tyne. The Wallsend Theatre Royal provided a wide range of entertainments to the local people from both sides of the river Tyne. The unassuming corrugated iron exterior which gave it the nickname of the corned beef tin, masked a Norwegian Pine lined interior with good seats and a fine stage. During it life it had a number of Managers including the comedy film actor Stan Laurel's Father Arthur Jefferson. Then on Sunday 25th. February 1906 fire reduced the theatre to smoking rubble and the Theatre Royal, Wallsend, was no more.

The loss of the theatre was much felt by local people so a replacement was sought. A number of local luminaries put their heads (and money) together and over the next four years a new theatre was created. This was the Borough Theatre which stood on the corner of Wallsend High Road and Park Road. This was opened in 1911 and remained active as a Theatre, Cinema, Bingo Hall, Recording Studio and finally derelict hulk and was finally demolished in 2011.

Words by Martin Collins

Unfortunately no pictures exist of the theatre, though if you do have one please let us know on the Contact page.

The two maps above illustrate Portugal Place, Wallsend between 1899 and 1921. The first map dates from the turn of the century further above, and labels the site as the 'Royalty Theatre' on the western side of the road. It seemed to be the only property on this side of the road with it being one of the last buildings in the town of Wallsend until Walkergate is reached.

As noted above the theatre did not last too long as was replaced by the Borough Theatre further to the east at Park Road. Portugal Place had built up with a few different sites, unfortunately all unlabelled on the map. The original building from the Ordnance Survey of 1899 is not featured, with it being destroyed by fire in 1906.

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