The Theatres Trust

Spa (Bridlington)

  • Theatre ID
  • Built / Converted
  • Current state
  • Current use
  • Address
    South Marine Drive, Bridlington, East Yorkshire, YO15 3JH, England


An earlier theatre burned down in 1906, the replacement theatre is basically intact today. The interior, with restrained ornament in what was described as Italian Renaissance style, consisted of a pit (with separate entrance) now seated and a single balcony, returned to the proscenium wall and divided into three areas: grand, upper and back circle. The proscenium arch is almost square with a central cartouche containing a female mask. In the ceiling is a round saucer dome with four relief plaster leaf scrolls and four smaller swags dividing the dome. The whole is surrounded by a moulded cornice. In the main part, above the stalls, there is an octagonal raised cornice. The balcony, supported on plain columns, has a panelled front with rich plaster scrolls. The walls at both levels are simply decorated with panels. The balcony is now divided into two areas separated by a barrier approximately two feet high. The disused entrance on the Esplanade (dated 1907) is in three bays, modestly detailed in classical style with a segmental pediment over the centre. The two entrance doors set in a projecting enclosed porch under a curved-fronted balcony supported on consoles.The entrance on South Marine Drive gives access to a good sized foyer nearly at circle level with the former main entrance on the Esplanade at stalls/pit level. In January 1932 the adjacent Royal Hall was gutted by fire. The Spa Theatre suffered minor smoke and water damage. An insurance settlement allowed rapid repair and full redecoration, the theatre reopening at Easter 1932. It remained open whilst the Royal Hall was reconstructed. Major improvements to the Spa Theatre/Royal Hall complex were under consideration in 2005.

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Façade of The Spa Theatre, Bridlington, 1995
© Ian Grundy

Exterior of The Spa Theatre, Bridlington, 1995
© Ian Grundy

Auditorium of The Spa Theatre, Bridlington, 1995
© Ian Grundy

Auditorium of The Spa Theatre, Bridlington, 1995
© Ian Grundy

Side Elevation of The Spa Theatre, Bridlington, 1998
© Ian Grundy

Rear Elevation of The Spa Theatre, Bridlington, 1998
© Ian Grundy

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  • Other names
    Spa Theatre & Opera House
  • Events
    • 1896 Design/Construction: probably with Mangnall & Littlewood
      • S Dyer - Architect
    • 1896 Design/Construction:
      • Macfarlane (Glasgow) - Consultant: Ironwork
      • Mr Philips (Scarborough) - Consultant: Painted Act Drop
    • 1896 Owner/Management: Whittaker
    • 1907 Alteration: Lowther & Walker (Hull)), rebuilt following fire
      • William Snowball Walker & A Lowther (Messrs Brodrick - Architect
    • 1907 Design/Construction:
      • Nichols & Reynolds - Consultant: Structural Ironwork
      • Leeds Heating & Stove co - Consultant: Possibly With Pennycocks Of London, Heating Apparatus
      • A C Dickens & Co - Consultant: Electrical Installation
      • Hammonds - Consultant: With B W Sink, Furnishings
      • Felix de Jong - Consultant: Plasterwork
      • Morton & Co (Tom Bogue) - Consultant: Scenery And Act Drop
      • Knaggs - Consultant: Painting And Glazing
    • 1931 Alteration: redecorated
      • Unknown - Architect
    • 1996 Owner/Management: before Scarborough Borough Council
    • 1996 Owner/Management: East Riding of Yorkshire Council
    • 2005 Alteration: project architect) [project]
      • East Riding of Yorkshire Council (Simon Button - Architect
  • Capacities
    • Original: 1284
    • Later: 1031 1948: 1131 to be reduced (2005) to c.750
  • Listings
    • Grade Not listed
  • Stage type
    • Rake
  • Dimensions
    • Stage dimensions: d: 11.89m w SL: 7.62m SR: 9.45m
    • Proscenium width: 9.14m
    • Orchestra pit: Original
  • Unreliable anecdotes
    Some sources state the theatre was destroyed by fire in 1932 and rebuilt. Not true. The adjacent Royal Hall burnt down but the Spa Theatre survived intact. No architect named S Dyer is listed in the Directory of British Architects 1834-1914 (2001). The attribution for the 1896 building needs further investigation.

Of the period

Exterior Muni Arts Centre, Pontpridd, 2010
Muni Arts Centre

Have you seen?

Auditorium at the Shanklin Theatre, Isle of Wight, 2014
Shanklin Theatre

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