The Theatres Trust

Palace (Gloucester)

  • Theatre ID
  • Built / Converted
  • Dates of use
    • 1791 - 1922
  • Current state
    Fragmental remains
  • Current use
    Demolished (Fragmental remains in Westgate Street, and in cellar of the Theatre Vaults Public House)
  • Address
    Westgate Street, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England


The Theatre Royal was opened in 1791 by John Boles Watson. No description found, but accommodation was probably pit, gallery and private boxes. Gas lighting was installed in 1835. In 1857 the theatre was acquired by John Blinkhorn, a railway contractor, who reconstructed it internally with two horseshoe-shaped balconies and a gallery supported by iron pillars. All decorated with ornate plasterwork; William Beverley painted the act-drop which depicted an Italian landscape. The stage facilities included a vampire trap and two star traps. Again rebuilt in 1897. Bought at auction by Poole (of Poole’s Diorama) in 1902, after which cinéariety, theatre and cinema were presented. The building was dismantled in 1922 but a doorway and a bust of Shakespeare remain in Westgate Street, and below ground level, a door in the Theatre Vaults Public House adjoining was the former pit entrance.

Hide further details

  • Other names
    Theatre Royal, Palace-Palace of Varieties, New Theatre & Opera House
  • Events
    • 1791 - 1922 Use:
    • 1791 Owner/Management: John Boles Watson, succeeded by his son, JBW II, and grandson, JBW III, owners
    • 1791 Design/Construction:
      • Unknown - Architect
    • 1799 Owner/Management: various lessees, including Hoy, Crisp
    • 1857 Alteration: rebuilt
      • Unknown - Architect
    • 1857 Design/Construction:
      • William Beverley - Consultant: Act Drop
    • 1857 Owner/Management: John Blinkhorn, owner
    • 1888 Owner/Management: Messrs Dutton & Ireland
    • 1897 Alteration: rebuilt
      • J P Briggs - Architect
    • 1902 Owner/Management: C W & J R Poole (Poole’s Theatres Ltd)
  • Capacities
    • Original: 800
    • Later: 1902: 1890 1908: 1200 1912: 1900
  • Listings
    • Grade Not listed
  • Stage type
    • Rake
  • Dimensions
    • Stage dimensions: Depth 1902: 36ft ?: 32ft
    • Proscenium width: 1902: 34ft ?: 20ft

Of the period

Façade of The Opera House, Covent Garden, London
Royal Opera House (London)

Have you seen?

Auditorium at St George's Theatre, Great Yarmouth, 2012
St George's Theatre (Great Yarmouth)
Great Yarmouth

Protecting theatres for everyone

The National Advisory Public Body for Theatres