Huddersfield and the History of The Colosseum

  • The Colosseum, originally designed and built by William Wallen as a military riding school; it was the first major building to be built in the Town's now familiar Italianate palazzo style.

  • First trains to Huddersfield Station

  • The start of Huddersfield's first public entertainment with the arrival of Batty's Circus

  • Interior re-constructed and opens as the Town's first Theatre Royal till 1862

  • Sold to the West Yorkshire Rifles as a Drill Hall and Armoury

  • Used as a roller-skating rink

  • Caretaker role as The Theatre Royal whilst the new one was being rebuilt after a fire

  • Building extended and renovated at considerable cost – Renamed: The Armoury

  • First animated pictures of 'The Transvaal War Day by Day' One night

  • Ceased being used by the military

  • Building sold to Northern Theatres Co Ltd for less than it cost to build in 1846.

    Renovated - Opened as The Armoury Theatre

  • Renovated: 3 floors added - Opened as The Hippodrome. Reported as a 'former riding shed*'

  • Further alterations: larger stage with dressing rooms underneath, increased capacity to 2,000

  • Further alterations: Opened as The Hippodrome and Opera House: stage significantly increased in size, the stage house completely rebuilt and a scenic workshop added.

  • Closed for further renovation

    Opened as The New Hippodrome (Variety Theatre)

  • Closed for major refurbishment

    Opened as The Tudor Super Cinema: Western Electric Sound System, Café, concerts/shows

  • Showed the first CinemaScope film

  • Opened as The Essoldo

  • Severe fire damage, with only the exterior walls surviving

  • Rebuilt, new Westmorland slate façade and reopened as Essoldo

  • Re-opened as The Classic cinema when Essoldo chain was sold

    The rear of the building on Zetland Street opened as The Tatler, X-Rated Cinema

  • Opened as The Cannon Cinema

  • Vandalised and fire damaged

  • Hosted Huddersfield's first lesbian and Gay film festival

  • Closed, owners went into liquidation

    Reopened the next day as The Tudor for the second time, an independent cinema

  • Odeon Multi-screen by football stadium open

  • Finally closes, 4 months after Odeon: The last survivor of the thirty three local cinemas

    Empty coffin found in basement (stage prop?) – ghost hunters spent the night here

    The building was split in two for redevelopment

  • The rear of the building opened as the Varsity Pub on Zetland Street

  • Front of building opened as The Rat & Parrot pub on Queensgate, opposite the University

    Opens as Livingstone's nightclub

  • Livingstone's close

    Che bar opens

  • Che Bar Closes

    SIN opens

  • SIN closes and put on the market not much interest – requires significant investment capital

  • Picture House opens after Varsity closes on Zetland Street

  • Hellfire Entertainment Ltd take over SIN and commence a full refurbishment

    Roxy Ball Room opens after Picture House closes on Zetland Street

  • The first stage of The Colosseum opens as Showtime – taking over the Roxy Venue

  • Main Colosseum project on hold – permission to join two buildings together blocked by Heineken. Continued work on Showtime, to include outdoor cinema and food offering.

*From here reporters etc have made the presumption that this was, like many of its time, a theatre with a front façade, leading to a wooden shed for the main building. However, that is not the case. The original report was in fact accurate and precise in its account although slight misleading, it was a military riding school and the word 'shed' is the military term for an armoury, not a wooden building typically found at the end of a garden.

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