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SALFORD VICTORIA THEATRE AT RISK
 

Star date: 29th July 2012

BROUGHTON'S VICTORIA THEATRE NAMED IN NATIONAL AT RISK REGISTER

Save Victoria Theatre Campaign Meeting
Wednesday 1st August 7pm
Robert Powell Theatre

Salford's Victoria Theatre, on Great Clowes Street, Lower Broughton, has been named this month by the Theatres Trust as one of 38 theatres in the country that are most at risk. Almost immediately, a Facebook campaign has drawn nearly 2000 members with its first `live' campaign meeting this week.

Full details here…


SALFORD VICTORIA THEATRE AT RISK SALFORD VICTORIA THEATRE AT RISK SALFORD VICTORIA THEATRE AT RISK
SALFORD VICTORIA THEATRE AT RISK SALFORD VICTORIA THEATRE AT RISK SALFORD VICTORIA THEATRE AT RISK
click image to enlarge

The red brick Victoria Theatre on Great Clowes Street stands almost as the last remnant of Salford's heritage in Lower Broughton which has been relentlessly bulldozed over the last decade.

The Grade II listed building, opened in 1899 by renowned actor Sir Henry Irving, has lots of its original features intact, including its two auditoriums, balconies, intricate plasterwork and arches. While the external building has seen better days, the Theatres Trust states that "the interior alone…justifies listing".

Victoria Theatre was used as both a theatre and a cinema, showing films as early as 1901, but was closed in 1958. From then it was re-born as a furniture store, a theatre for a short while and, lastly, as Victoria Bingo until a few years ago. Now it is up for sale, with agents WT Gunson asking for offers `in the region of £275,000'.

The Theatres Trust, which this month put Victoria Theatre on its register of the 38 most at risk theatres in the country, isn't impressed…

"Salford provides a telling example of what can happen when the presence of a theatre (even a listed theatre) has been totally ignored in the post-war redevelopment of a city area" it states "Improvements to its present forlorn surroundings are imperative if this fine Crewe building is to be seen in appropriate context."

With the bulldozers smashing through what is left of Lower Broughton – Mocha Parade is already half tinned up - a Facebook campaign to save Victoria Theatre sprang up almost immediately after the Theatres Trust announcement.

Almost two thousand members have already joined the online campaign and its first `live' meeting is this Wednesday at the Robert Powell Theatre, with lots of ideas to save the historic theatre already being aired...

Save Victoria Theatre Campaign Meeting
Wednesday 1st August 7pm
Robert Powell Theatre
University of Salford, Frederick Rd Campus M6 6PU

For further details see Theatres Trust website – click here and click on Victoria Theatre

For further details of the Save Victoria Theatre Campaign see Facebook group `Help Save Salford Victoria Theatre' – click here

For previous Salford Star stories on Lower Broughton - click here and click here

Anyone wishing to buy Victoria Theatre see the agent's website – click here

Qamar zaidi wrote
at 07:07:48 on 09 August 2014
I want to buy this beautifull building for a welfare trust to keep this building as it is for ever . And we will do community theatres , community education etc , trying to collect money I will hardly by it by borrowing money because I am just a ordinary person . I will need help to restore this building because it needs lot of work inside . I have visited this beautifull peace of art it's not in good condition now. My request is if I will get this in a trust name will you all help me to restore this building .I will give the registerd charity number and account number on this site .if every one who like this building will promise then I will try my best to buy this. Many thanks Q zaidi
 
Thomas Wallwork wrote
at 11:41:49 on 18 November 2012
As a child growing up in Lower Broughton in the 50s I was often taken by my mother to the "VIC", (as it was called locally) to see a film. It was always a special treat to go to the Vic and one I will always remember. It was such a happy time and although life was hard at times, a visit to the Vic would take away a lot of childhood struggles. Little did I know that some years later it was to play such an important part in my life. Having studied for the stage in London I got an interview with a director who was recruiting actors for a weekly Rep company. It was at The Victoria Theatre, and I was paid £7 pr week. It was only then that I realised what a beautiful theatre it was and I knew I would always take the memory of it with me. After the season I moved to London and never did get the opportunity to return to the Vic again. I have been fortunate to work in some of London's West End Theatre's since, and rarely have I seen one that is on a par with the Vic, with the exception possibly of "The Theatre Royal" Haymarket. Please save The Victoria Theatre. It is a treasured and beautiful building. Please don't let it die. Bring live theatre back to Lower Broughton and give "The Victoria Theatre" the recognition it truly deserves.
 
Peter Lewis Fairchild wrote
at 09:43:02 on 27 August 2012
I am a retired theatre set and costume designer and i got my first professional job at this theatre designing the sets for the pantomime "Babes in the wood" starring Joe "piano" Henderson and directed by Aubrey Phillips. It would be a dream to see this beautiful theatre brought back to life and i wish the campaign every success in their efforts to achieve this.
 
Christine Isherwood wrote
at 07:56:56 on 03 August 2012
I can remember going to Salford Victoria Theatre when I was in the first or second year at Sacred Heart Secondary Modern School. I'm almost certain it was to see Barbara Connett do her Elvis Presley impersonations. I'm also pretty sure Katherine McClatchie also accompanied her on stage - but I can't remember if Katherine also did Elvis impersonations or provided the backing input. They both did the typical gyrating dance routines of the era. (This would be 1967/1968/1969). It was all in the same vein as the X factor nowadays. Just to see your friends up on stage in the limelight made you root for them and was just so exilirating. It took the tedium out of life. This is why we need live entertainement. Please add my name to your list of supporters.
 
J wrote
at 20:10:54 on 01 August 2012
It would be a shame to see it go and I really hope something comes to frution, but its simply in an undesirable location for developers and when you've got the Palace Theatre and Opera House less than a mile away, with the Lowry in a 'better' part of Salford.
 
mary Ferrer wrote
at 14:55:55 on 31 July 2012
Why are we having to keep fighting to save what bit of our history and heritage we have left.I know I keep saying this,but if this building was in another part of the country it would be cherished and brought back into use,but for some reason here is Salford they just don't care, can't see what a great building we have,full of history and charm given a bit of love and care and yes money. But if hadn't been left for so long it wouldn't need that much work. As this building is grade 2 the councils conservation officer should have seen that it was looked after, made save,water tight and kept in a general good state of repair. But having said that they can't look after their own listed buildings. All I can say is "Thank god there are still people out there who care"
 
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