Hippodrome

1892

Opened 1903 as Empire Palace of Varieties, on site of the earlier People’s Palace of 1893.

Symmetrical, largely original, in eclectic and rather uncertain style, with ornamental surrounds to windows in terra cotta. All that is known of the original building is that it had two balconies and boxes and great attention was paid in the original design to fire precautions and exits for speedy evacuation in the event of fire.

In 1930s the auditorium was remodelled for cinema use with one deep balcony; the boxes were removed. The splendid ceiling dome, originally for the sunburner, decorated in fibrous plaster with garlands and musical instruments, however, remains as a reminder of the once lavish interior. The wide proscenium dates from 1956.

The stage with fly tower remains. Current plans are to extend the stage area into the defunct dressing room area, perhaps extending the back wall, to give extra space for bingo, and possibly to insert a second balcony for additional accommodation.

Built / Converted
1903
Dates of use
Current state
Extant
Current use
Bingo
Address
Corporation Street, St Helens, Merseyside, England
Website-
Further details
Other names
Empire Palace of Varieties
Events
  • Owner/Management: Barrasford, Sley & Willmot, owners
  • Owner/Management: Mecca
  • Owner/Management: Currently: Independent owner M Pilkington (St Helens family!)
  • 1903 Design/Construction:
    J A Barron (St Helens)
    - Architect
  • 1903 Design/Construction:
    McNelly (St Helens)
    - Consultant
    painting leadlightwork
    Brockfield Foundry Co (St Helens)
    - Consultant
    iron work
    Stoft & Co (Manchester)
    - Consultant
    sunburner
    Bispham Hall Terracotta (Orrell)
    - Consultant
    terracotta
    Withnall Brick Co (Accrington)
    - Consultant
    bricks
    J Mans (Liverpool)
    - Consultant
    painting scenery
    Craven Dunhill Tiling Co (Jackfield Sallop)
    - Consultant
    mosaic and tiling
    Thomson & Co (Liverpool)
    - Consultant
    seats
    Johnson & Sons (Liverpool)
    - Consultant
    fibrous plaster
    Alex White & Son (Liverpool & Birkenhead)
    - Consultant
    decoration
  • 1913 Alteration: unspecified alterations
    Unknown
    - Architect
  • 1930 - 1939 Alteration: auditorium remodelled
    Unknown
    - Architect
  • 1956 Alteration: proscenium widened to accommodate cinemascope
    Unknown
    - Architect
  • 1968 Alteration: converted to bingo
    Gormall & Wainwright (St Helens)
    - Architect
Capacities
  • Capacity
    Original
    Description
    2300
  • Capacity
    Later
    Description
    1912: 2300
Listings
  • Listing
    Not listed
Stage type
Proscenium
Building dimensions: -
Stage dimensions: 1912 Depth: 38ft Width: 60ft
Proscenium width: 1912: 25ft
Height to grid: 1912: 60ft
Inside proscenium: -
Orchestra pit: -