Victoria Theatre

An architecturally important theatre designed by eminent theatre architect Bertie Crewe, with surviving wooden sub-stage machinery.

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Address
Great Clowes Street, Lower Broughton, Salford, Greater Manchester, M7 1RE
Risk Rating
8 (risk rating: 3. star rating: 3. community rating: 2.)
Local Authority
Salford City Council
Architect
Bertie Crewe
Date of Construction
1899
Listing
Grade II
Capacity
Estimated at 775

Significance

Built in 1899 and designed by Bertie Crewe, the Victoria Theatre in Salford is Grade II listed. This architecturally important theatre has a fine terracotta façade with much stained glass and a beautiful and intimate auditorium featuring richly scrolled plasterwork. There are substantial remains of wooden sub-stage machinery including a complete grave trap. The theatre is included within the top three of Salford’s own list of historic buildings deemed to be at risk.

Why is this theatre at risk?

The Victoria Theatre closed as a bingo hall in 2007 and has remained unoccupied ever since. Work is required to remove vegetation growth on the façade and prevent substantial damage to the building fabric. There is a chance of serious and ongoing deterioration if a new use cannot be found soon. The building requires a new use that would preserve its special interest and allow the possibility of a return to theatre use.

Current situation

The owner was open to selling the building but local group Save the Victoria Theatre Trust is unable to afford the suggested price of £175,000. Salford City Council has plans to redevelop Mocha Parade, a mixed use retail and residential area opposite the theatre, which, dependent on the final plan and partnerships, could provide a springboard for the regeneration of the theatre.

In the meantime, Save the Victoria Theatre Trust is in discussions with the Mayor of Salford and local MP Graham Stringer regarding a council commissioned report on local heritage at risk and what can be done to support these buildings.

The group is also continuing to fundraise for a viability study on the building to determine the optimum viable and sustainable use for the theatre within a city which already has a good and broad cultural and theatrical spread. One option to be explored is that of returning the theatre to its musical entertainment roots and also playing host to amateur dramatics companies.

Update September 2018

The Victoria was put up at auction on 6 September. Whilst not sold on the day, the theatre was sold post auction. The details of the new owner and their intentions for the building are, as yet, unknown.

Image: Victoria Theatre, Theatres Trust