Portsmouth music scene

The Portsmouth Music Scene

The Hippodrome

The Hippodrome Theatre is slightly out of the 1944 to 1969 time slot but was a centre for enetertainment before the war.
The Hippodrome Theatre was opened on 13th May 1907 as a music hall. In 1913, it began to screen films, and continued as a full-time cinema until 1918,
when live shows resumed, although the projection equipment was retained.
The building was destroyed by enemy bombing during the second world war.


Whit Monday 1907 queuing to see the Hippodrome show

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hippo-western 1936

The Western Brothers outside the stage door

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Programme cover from November 12th 1917

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The Hippodrome, Commercial Road, Portsmouth. May 1st. 1939.

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13th feb 1939

Tom Mix, 13th February 1939.

Claude Marner (1884-1936) Was born in St Pancras in 1884 & was to become a very popular theatre Manager. Managing the Holborn Empire, the Boscombe Hippodrome & the Alhambra theatre in Paris. He took up the position as acting Manager at the Kings theatre, Southsea in 1910 & was there for 2 years before he moved to the Palace theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue. It was at this theatre on 1st June 1912 that the first Royal Command performance was performed in front of King George 5th & Queen Mary. He moved back to Portsmouth in 1914 & became General manager of the Hippodrome in Commercial Road. It was in his office at the theatre that he was found dead on 11th May 1936 with knife wounds to his throat & wrists. The inquest stated that he had a fear of growing old, although only 52 & the verdict was 'suicide while the mental balance of his mind was disturbed'. A sad end for a much loved manager.

hippodrome 1941-2
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The end in 1941

Performances at the Hippodrome
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