Morecambe’s Lost Theatre


 From 'The Era', Saturday 9th April 1898:

"Morecambe added still another big attraction to the many already established for the delectation of its visitors when, on Monday, the new Royalty Theatre opened its portals to the play-going public for the first time."

Situated on Market Street and Cheapside in the town centre; the Royalty Theatre aimed to deliver a more cultured form of stage entertainment than some of the other establishments in the resort. Drama, light opera and repertory theatre were the order of the day.

Theatre-goers were accommodated in an auditorium with a capacity of 1140 on three levels. The furnishings were ornate and designed by the leading theatre architect of the day, Frank Matcham.  Fibrous mouldings in the Louis XV style, painted in cream and gold, decorated the interior.
Famous names who trod the boards included Leonard Rossiter, Robert Stephens and Thora Hird.  Thora made her debut at the tender age of two months, carried in the arms of her father, in a play which he directed.  Thora was born in the house next door to the theatre and her parents were the stage managers for a time. Hardly surprising that she later remarked, the theatre was in her blood.
Despite its beautiful architecture and fascinating history, the Royalty is another of Morecambe's lost buildings.  Visit the site today and you would never know it had existed. Although, as LuneTube discovered, there are some clues nearby...
Do you have memories of the Royalty Theatre?  Did you tread the boards there, work behind the scenes or attend a show?  Maybe you have a memento of the old theatre?  We'd love to hear from you! Get in touch 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *