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Stoll Cinema, Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne



Newcastle, Westgate Road, New Tyne Theatre (Stoll Cinema)




Music Speech and Dance Venue


Early Modern


Extant Building

Theatre and opera house, later cinema; now theatre. 1867 by W.B. Parnell for Cowan. Bought by Oswald Stoll and opened as cinema in 1919. Italianate front of three storeys, five bays (the outer bays narrower) in pale brick with stone dressings. Stone cornice with long brackets, tall parapet and pediment over; small semi-circular pediments, flanked by urns, at sides. Arcaded second floor Ground floor modernised, Lozenge or pointed first floor window . Painted advertisement on left return gable: THE/STOLL/TYNESIDE'S/TALKIE/THEATRE. Interior Horse-shoe shaped auditorium with three tiers of balconies on cast iron columns with floral capitals and long cantilever brackets. Balconies S-curved with thick applied baroque decoration. One set of boxes at either side framed in Orders below and by two large female terms at top stage. Shell-shaped ceiling and very high proscenium arch. An exceptionally complete surviving example of early stage machinery. Deep stage with five sets of tabs, machinery and control panel. Complete switchboard for earliest electric lighting. Very deep and high back:stage, dressing and ancillary rooms with many period features. Source: Mackintosh and Sell eds. Curtains!!! 1982. LISTED GRADE 1. On 7 April 1887 a 36 pound cannon ball was rolled along a surface to create a thunder sound on stage. The ball was meant to drop into a box but it fell a distance of 12 feet onto the head of a member of staff, Bob Courtenedge, killing him instantly. His ghost is said to haunt the theatre, accompanied by the smell of tobacco {Kirkup 2009}.




Department of National Heritage, List of Buildings of Special Architectural and Historic Interest, 19/600; Rob Kirkup, 2009, Ghostly Tyne & Wear; Grace McCombie, 2009, Newcastle and Gateshead - Pevsner Architectural Guide, p. 23; Frank Manders, 1991, Cinemas of Newcastle, pages 162-167; Simpson and Brown, 2008, The Tyne Theatre and Opera House, Newcastle upon Tyne - Draft Conservation Plan

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