Brass 24.2mm ROYAL CASINO — • — PROMENADE CONCERT HALL — • — * LEEDS * R. KING CHARLES CROFT above façade of building, HIRON.F. BIRM. at sides, LEEDS in ex. Edge: reeded. TB2 W1940 TB3 W.721 VF.
The engraver, Hiron, was operational 1847-1851.
This is the story of two theatres which later became one, several owners and more names for the theatres than you can throw a stick at ! In January of 1849 William Schuking Thorne opened the Princess’s Theatre. The theatre staged straight drama, variety acts and what we would now think of as circus with the accent on acts with a local flavour. Thorne rented the land next to the theatre to Joseph Hobson who built the Leeds Casino and Concert Hall, which was extended in 1856 and re-named The Royal Alhambra.
In 1864 Hobson obtained a dramatic licence which enabled him to put on plays as well as music hall, and changed the name of his theatre to the Royal Amphitheatre.
Thorne’s theatre could not compete successfully with the Amphitheatre, so he left the business, selling his theatre to Hobson, who rebuilt it and re-opened as the Princess’s Concert Hall on Christmas Eve 1874.
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