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Globe Theatre


The first cinema on the site was built in 1913, demolished in 1925 and replaced on a larger scale in 1926, still as a cinema. In 1935 Charles and Alfred Lewis rebuilt once again, this time in Art Deco style as the New Globe Theatre of Varieties. It had full stage facilities with dressing rooms on three floors and was intended as a number one variety house, but with film projection facilities. It became an ABC cinema in 1937, but still with much live use including annual pantomimes. There were regular stage shows with national companies after the war. In 1977 it converted to bingo, in which use it continued until closing in 1996. From that time it stood dark and neglected on the High Street, but still retaining its theatre potential.

The ground floor front, which originally had shop fronts flanking the entrance, has now been tiled, in a perfectly discreet manner. Above this, the moderne stucco façade has fluted giant pilaster strips rising through two storeys to a stepped attic with two short, cubist towers. Internally much of the original ornament has survived. Auditorium has characteristic, almost unaltered ornament to the single balcony front, side walls with light fountains and broad, square proscenium. It is an excellent example of its kind and date.

The Globe has remained vacant since 1996 but development plans were developed in 2009 to restore the building to live use. Planning permission was granted in February 2010, and in October 2013 the theatre received a £4 million Heritage Lottery Fund Grant for its restoration. Planning permission was subsequently sought in 2017. Stockton Council announced restoration plans in July 2017 and that the Ambassador Theatre Group would operate the venue for the following 25 years.

Built / Converted
Dates of use
  • 1935 - 1974: as variety theatre and cine-variety.
Current state
Current use
Dark (being refurbished; closed as bingo 1996)
153a High Street, Stockton-on-Tees, Cleveland, TS18 1PL, England
Further details
Other names
  • 1913 Design/Construction: first cinema on site (architect unknown).
  • 1926 Design/Construction: new ciné-variety on same site.
    Percy L Browne & Son (Newcastle)
    - Architect
  • 1935 Owner/Management: Stockton Palace Ltd, owners
  • 1935 Design/Construction: rebuilt as ciné-variety.
    Percy L Browne & Son (Newcastle)
    - Architect
    Webster Davidson & Co (Sunderland)
    - Consultant
    decorative plasterwork
    Fred A Foster (Nottingham)
    - Consultant
  • 1935 - 1974 Use: as variety theatre and cine-variety.
  • 1937 Owner/Management: Associated British Cinemas Ltd, owners
  • 1974 Owner/Management: Lipthorpe Brothers, owners
  • 1978 Owner/Management: Mecca, owners
  • 2007 Owner/Management: Jomast Developments Ltd
  • 2017 Owner/Management: Ambassador Theatre Group
  • 2017 Owner/Management: Globe Stockton Foundation
  • Capacity
  • Capacity
    1936: 2400
    1937: 2429
    1956: 2429
  • Listing
Stage type
Building dimensions: exterior 100ft deep; 96ft wide at front elevation
Stage dimensions: Depth: 28ft Width: 50ft
Proscenium width: 49ft
Height to grid: 52ft
Inside proscenium: 56ft
Orchestra pit: -