Skip to main content

The Criterion Theatre


The building was constructed in 1884 as a Methodist church, to the designs of William Tomlinson of Moor Street. Red brick (now painted white), with a high pitched hipped roof. It became the Sunday School in 1923 when a new church was built, and was also used for community events, and as an army base in the Second World War. In 1960 the Criterion Players, who had formed five years previously, raised the money to purchase the Sunday School and converted it to a theatre, which opened in 1961. The building is set back from the road with a car park in front. The theatre seats 122. The group has made various changes over the years, including a timber clad foyer extension in 1970, creation of a wardrobe store in 1979 and construction of a two storey extension in 1984 for a bar store, toilets and storage. In 1997 temporary buildings and the rear stage area were demolished and a two storey extension constructed to house the stage, dressing rooms and storage areas.

Built / Converted
Dates of use
  • 1884 - 1923: church
  • 1923 - 1960: Sunday school
  • 1961 : theatre, continuing
Current state
Current use
Berkeley Road South, Earlsdon, Coventry, CV5 6EF, England
Further details
Other names
  • 1884 Design/Construction: as a Methodist church
    William Tomlinson of Moor Street
    - Architect
    Mr Beecham of Allesley
    - Builder
  • 1884 - 1923 Use: church
  • 1923 - 1960 Use: Sunday school
  • 1961 Use: theatre, continuing
  • 1961 Alteration: converted to theatre
  • 1961 Owner/Management: Criterion Theatre Limited
  • Capacity
    in 2017
Stage type
Building dimensions: -
Stage dimensions: -
Proscenium width: -
Height to grid: -
Inside proscenium: -
Orchestra pit: -