Portsmouth music scene

Other Theatres

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The South of England Music Hall 31st July 1871 The Brothers Roussllion, Edgar Wilson, Porsivani

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The New Prince's Theatre was situated in Lake Road, Landport, originally opened on the 2nd January 1869 as a Circus ending on the 13th February.
It reopened in 1870 renamed the Royal Albert Theatre closing in 1872.
then rebuilding and renovation and re-opened as the Prince's Theatre on the 11th November 1872.
The New Princes Cinema, Lake Rd, opened as Princes Theatre in 1880, burnt down in 1882.
Reopened on 2nd January 1892 then was fitted with electric light in 1902. It closed as a theatre in 1928.
Princes Theatre (Portsmouth) Ltd went into liquidation in 1930. In 1930.
After a major refurbishment costing 10,000, the cinema reopened as New Princes (Portsmouth) Ltd.
In 1937 the licence was transferred to New Era Cinema (Portsmouth) Ltd', and the following year was transferred to South Downs Cinemas Ltd'.
The cinema was open until the afternoon of 24th August 1940 when it was demolished by enemy bombs during an air raid whilst a matinee performance was taking place.
Youngsters were settling down to a matinee showing of Gate of Alcatraz. The 80-minute drama has been long-forgotten.
Due to communication problems no air raid warning was given, 8 children were killed in the bombing and many more were injured.


Barnard's Ampitheatre Gunwharf Road Dec 27th The Season Christmas Spectacular

Ventos, Peoples Palace, The Palladium

Blundells in Lake road. For those who don't remember it, here is a map and photo. It started life in the 1884 built for brothers Bob & Frank Pearce as a Temperance Music Hall and later called the Peoples Palace. To explain the title it simply meant that there were no ladies of dubious pleasure or drinks available. A quite unusual departure for music halls in those days. It was built by Frank and Bob Pearce, and Frank and his wife, Harriet ran the hall. They were both staunch temperance workers needless to say.
In 1886 a ventriloquist Harry 'Vento' took over the lease hence the original name to 'Vento's Temple of Varieties'. It was basically a small music hall with a stage at one end and held about 700. The owners were staunch members of the temperance movement so no alcohol was allowed. The scenery was rolled up out of sight when not required. There was an orchestra of 5 & a chairman who would come on stage in between acts & place a card with the details of the next act on an easel at the side of the stage. It must have been quite a relaxed establishment as the audience were allowed to bring food etc in with them. The great male impersonator Vesta Tilley appeared there as did a very young Marie Lloyd. In 1904 the name was changed to the Peoples Palace & it started showing films soon after. By 1920 Frank Pearce had retired & the name was changed yet again when it became The Palladium.
Frank & his wife are both buried in Milton cemetery where you can see this unusual headstone near the chapel. As well as being tea total they were also leading lights in the vegetarian movement. It had a major alteration and new front, designed by AE Cogswell. The doors of the Palladium closed in November 1930 and it became Blundells. It was demolished after the redevelopment of the Lake road area. The road that runs off to the left is now Holbrook road but originally, it was Leonard road.

19th Oct 1885 news

19th Oct 1885


Frank Pearce & his wife are both buried in Milton cemetery

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