Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: June 25, 2017.
Webpage updated: September 02, 2017




Although Plymouth's New Palace Theatre of Varieties is located in Union Street, Plymouth, it is no longer a theatre but has a Grade II* listing.

It was built jointly by Messrs United Counties Theatres Ltd and the Livermore Brothers as a replacement for the Palace of Varieties at the St James's Hall.  The building was designed by Mr William Arber of Messrs J T Wimperis & Arber of 25 Sackville Street, London, and cost 95,000.  The managing director was Mr Alfred Moul and the manager was Mr E J Dexter.

After a private viewing on Friday September 2nd 1898, the New Palace Theatre was opened on Monday September 5th 1898.

In the early hours of December 23rd 1898 fire destroyed the stage and the front of the auditorium.  It reopened on May 22nd 1899.

In September 1911 the New Palace Theatre and the Grand Theatre were sold to a syndicate formed by Mr G Hamilton Baines of the Theatre Royal, Cardiff.  The ownership was to change many more times over the years.

All manner of entertainment, from vaudeville to the occasional film, were staged at the Palace.

At the height of the Plymouth Blitz the widow of Mr Thomas Hoyle, its most well-known owner, was credited with keeping Plymouth's spirits up by presenting a full season of Shows in 1941.  After the destruction in 1941 of the nearby Grand Theatre and the Theatre Royal, the Palace Theatre continued to host the Palace Pantomimes every Christmas until it closed.  

The first of the New Palace Theatre's many closures came in February 1959, during the run of that season's Palace Pantomime, "Little Miss Muffet".

It managed to get a Second Life between 1962 and 1965; and a Third Life between April 1977 and May 1980 but finally closed in 1983, when it became a disco.  All efforts to restore the Theatre to its former glory have so far failed.


"Little Miss Muffet" at the New Palace Theatre was the author's first visit to a theatre.