The Theatres Trust

Royalty (Chester)

  • Theatre ID
  • Built / Converted
  • Dates of use
    • 1882 - 1966
  • Current state
  • Current use
    Demolished (was last a nightclub; site cleared for apartments/restaurants)
  • Address
    City Road, Chester, Cheshire, England


The Royalty was built in 1882 on the site of a wooden structure used for circuses etc. At that time it was the only theatre in the city. The exterior was plain, painted brick on City Road side, two storeys with windows of domestic scale on first floor. There was originally a long canopy along the entrance front. The theatre was last entered at the side, through an ante-building containing foyer, stairs, bars, refreshment areas, etc and it is this area which was, in its final years, run as a nightclub. The theatre lay lengthways behind this, with a flytower, and good access to scene dock from a road the other side of the building. It had until 1957 a well designed interior, with two curving balconies supported on six columns and with round-fronted boxes at circle level on each side of the proscenium. After the 1958 alterations it had a quite plain interior with two almost flat-fronted balconies and proscenium stage, designed for variety/pop entertainment. It remained unchanged from that time, except for removal of seats. It was converted for bingo in 1960, closing in 1966. The auditorium was for many years disused before demolition in the first two or three years of the present century.

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  • Other names
    Prince of Wales, Theatre Royalty Club
  • Events
    • Owner/Management: later: Milton Bode, owner
    • Owner/Management: Royalty Theatre, Chester Ltd, owner
    • 1874 Design/Construction: as a wooden circus
      • Unknown - Architect
    • 1874 Owner/Management: Mr Rigby
    • 1882 - 1966 Use:
    • 1882 Owner/Management: Walker, Charlton, Carter, owners
    • 1882 Alteration: new building on site
      • B E Entwistle - Architect
    • 1898 Owner/Management: by James Carter, sole owner
    • 1904 - 1932 Owner/Management: Milton Bode, Edward Compton, lessees
    • 1922 Owner/Management: H Norcott, manager
    • 1932 Owner/Management: Edmund Keyes, owner; Chester Royalty Theatre, proprietors
    • 1957 Owner/Management: Dennis Chritchley, general manager
    • 1958 Alteration: balconies replaced by flat-fronted cantilevers, and boxes removed
      • Col Saxon - Architect
    • 1961 Owner/Management: Miss Ursula Keyes, owner
    • 1966 Alteration: conversion of part to cabaret club
      • Unknown - Architect
  • Capacities
    • Later: 1965: 966
  • Listings
    • Grade Not listed
  • Stage type
    • Proscenium rake
  • Dimensions
    • Stage dimensions: 1912 Depth: 10.36m (34ft) Width: 16.45m (54ft)
    • Proscenium width: 1912: 7.62m (25ft)
    • Height to grid: 1912: 13.1m (43ft)

Of the period

Façade of the Winter Garden, Eastbourne, 1998
Winter Garden (Eastbourne)

Have you seen?

Exterior of Sadler's Wells, London, 1939
Sadler's Wells

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