Playhouse Theatre – Oldham Rd – Miles Platting – Manchester

24 Aug

The Playhouse in 1961. Courtesy B. Shaw.

Where the Playhouse Theatre stood

The Playhouse Theatre was one of a number of distinctive buildings still left standing after swathes of unsympathetic demolition ripped through Miles Platting as it had done to many more areas in Manchester in the 1960s and 1970s.

The Playhouse stood prominently on Oldham Road at the junction of Queens Road in Miles Platting.When it was originally built it had a capacity with 1,827 seats. Taken over by ABC in 1929 and by Star Cinema Group  in 1969, then on the 23rd October 1978, Manchester City Council approved an application (Council Ref. No: F09696) for the former cinema to be used as a “Aquarium and Aviary”. It is unclear if this became a reality. The former cinema and its subsequent incarnations would finally close its door in 1986/7 until it was demolished around 1998.

There were also five applications submitted toManchester City Council for change of use in 1981, strangely all on the same day, Tuesday 31 March 1981. The first (Council Ref. No: F15697) application, to change the former cinema into a retail shop was refused. A second application (Council Ref. No: F15700) to change the former cinema into leisure facilities was not proceeded with. The third application (Council Ref. No: F15696), for change of use to light industrial was not preceded with also. The fourth application (Council Ref. No: F15698) to use the former cinema as a warehouse was refused. The fifth application (Council Ref. No: F15699) to use the former cinema as showrooms with ancillary retail was also refused. Five applications all on the same day.

The Footage Pub in 2011.

There is no information if the applications were submitted by the same person/persons or different parties. And yet in May of the same year, another former cinema designed by Percy Hothersall, Grosvenor Picture Palace, on the corner of Grosvenor Street and Oxford Road in the City Centre was granted two applications (Council Ref. No: F15631/LB & Council Ref. No: F15499) for listed building consent for the “conversion of the former cinema into a snooker club and conversion of ground floor of vacant cinema into a private snooker club.” The building still stands and is now a pub called The Footage

In the 1950s films like British comedy, Smallest Show on Earth starring Peter Sellers or Elmer Gantry starring Burt Lancaster as shown in the picture above from 1961, could be seen here.

In the 1990s, the Playhouse House Theatrewas boarded up and sadly left to rot and ruin as seen in the picture below from the early 1990s. The building was then subsequently demolished and yet another piece of Miles Plattings rich and very rare heritage gone forever.

The Picture House in the 1990s standing forlorn waiting to meet its impending fate.

Thank you to Rik for his contributions to this post.

Please leave COMMENTS at the bottom of the page.

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5 Responses to “Playhouse Theatre – Oldham Rd – Miles Platting – Manchester”

  1. J. Garry February 23, 2014 at 9:31 pm #

    Thing is they have done nothing with the land round there either. Miles Platting looks a total shithole now.


  2. A.Dickinson February 23, 2014 at 9:25 pm #

    I worked as an usherette at the Playhouse in 1959/60. Absolutely loved it but as
    I am not very tall, carrying the trays of icecream was a bit tricky! I also worked in the
    kiosk selling sweets and cigarettes which was legal then. I never got to watch any films
    though because we were kept quite busy – Happy days!


    • p.seddon August 27, 2014 at 10:41 pm #

      I used to go to Saturday matinee at the pictures there in 1955-60.


      • historyme August 31, 2014 at 11:02 pm #

        Hi. Nice to hear from you. Do you have any information regarding the interior/photographs etc?


  3. Diane April 11, 2012 at 11:44 pm #

    I feel angry and sad that this building and many others have
    been lost. I remember it well because I lived just off St Mary’s Rd, Moston and used ift as a focal point when I was going home on the bus.


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