Tyne and Wear HER(12853): Newcastle, Northumberland Place, Queen's Hall - Details
Newcastle, Northumberland Place, Queen's Hall
Opened 9 September 1913. In January 1909 George Laidler submitted plans to the City Council for a grand concert hall on a site bounded by Northumberland Street, Lisle Street, Princess Street and Northumberland Place. The architects were Graham and Hill. In January 1911 Philip Yorke of London and General Electric Theatres Ltd and the Cinematograph Finance Corporation resubmitted the plans for a 2500 seat concert hall, which included a 1000 seat cinema and a 16 table billiard hall. The plans were withdrawn by architects Marshall and Tweedy in March 1912 due to financial problems. Eventually a more modest cinema was opened in 1913. It seated 1200 and had red carpet and plasterwork decoration in the grand circle. The chairs in the grand circle and private boxes were of inlaid rosewood and red plush. The interior was panelled in oak. The exterior elevation onto Northumberland Place may have been modest but inside it was "Newcastle's Finest Picture Theatre". Access to the circle and front stalls was from Northumberland Street. H.G. Amers' Bijou Orchestra accompanied the films. In March 1920 the Queen's was bought by George Black of Sunderland. A Vincent organ was installed in 1921. In 1928 the General Theatres Corporation (Gaumont-British) took over. The cinema closed in July and August 1928 for refurbishment. The Queen's was the second cinema in Newcastle to install sound equipment (June 1929). In 1957 a new flat screen was erected on a scaffolding framework. The old organ was sold for £25. On 15 June 1963 the Queen's closed for conversion to a Cinerama Theatre. The interior was gutted and reconstructed by Stephen Easten. The roof was raised by 12 feet to accommodate the 28 feet high screen. The cost was said to be £175,000. Seating was reduced to 972. The Queen's Cinerama Theatre opened on 9 November 1963. In 1967 Rank made the Queen's subsidiary to the Odeon. The Queen's closed on 16 February 1980. It was demolished and a shopping arcade (Queen's Arcade) built in its place. This still stands.
Frank Manders, 1991, Cinemas of Newcastle, pages 137-142; Frank Manders, 2005, Cinemas of Newcastle, pages 48-49, 66, 67-68, 91-92, 110, 115, 122-124, 147, 150, 161