Hulme Hippodrome

A splendid music hall with a spectacular auditorium featuring a riot of gilded Rococo plasterwork. An iconic building of social, historical and architectural significance, currently in a very poor state of repair.

20120216 ig manchesterhulmehippodrome 027 detail
Address
Preston Street, Hulme, Manchester, M15 5EU
Risk Rating
8 (risk rating: 3. star rating: 3. community rating: 2.)
Owner
Gilbert Deya Ministries
Operator
Gilbert Deya Ministries (operates from the foyer only)
Architect
J J Alley
Date of Construction
1901
Listing
Grade II
Capacity
Estimated at 2,000

Significance

Hulme Hippodrome is a splendid Grade II music hall. The magnificent auditorium, which has two galleries and a proscenium arch in their original state, is a spectacular riot of gilded Rococo plasterwork. The basic design is very like the auditorium of the Hulme Playhouse next door, but apart from this (and other now demolished theatres designed by J J Alley for the Broadhead Circuit), the concept is quite unlike any contemporary theatre or music hall. The area surrounding the theatre has been substantially redeveloped in the last 20 years and the theatre could find a use as part of the local community. It is an iconic building of social, historical and architectural significance.

Why is this theatre at risk?

Hulme Hippodrome was last used for theatre in the 1960s, then bingo from the mid-1970s until its closure in 1986. The Floral Hall adjacent to the main theatre was then used as a snooker hall. In 2003 evangelist group Gilbert Deya Ministries purchased the building. It operates from the foyer only, leaving the auditorium vacant and in a very poor state of repair. With no user for the auditorium, the theatre remains very vulnerable. Attempts by the council to make the owner undertake repair works have been unsuccessful.

Current situation

In spring 2016 a group named the Friends of Hulme Hippodrome applied to get the building listed as an Asset of Community Value. Unfortunately this was rejected by the Council. In the meantime, rumours abound regarding the possible sale of the building for redevelopment.

Image: Hulme Hippodrome, Ian Grundy