Globe Theatre, Stockton-on-Tees
|Address||153A High Street, Stockton-On-Tees, County Durham, TS18 1PL
|Designation||Grade II listed|
|Type||Theatre / Cinema / Bingo Hall|
Situated at the north-western end of High Street, the original Globe Theatre was built in 1913 and was Teesside's first purpose-built cinema. Demolished in 1925, it was first rebuilt in 1926, when it showed the area's first talkies. It was rebuilt again, still on the same site in 1935, designed as a leading variety theatre but also including cinema facilities and seating for 2,372 people. The Globe regularly hosted stage shows with national companies. In 1938, it became an ABC cinema but live performances continued including an annual pantomime, ballet and West End shows.
Between the 1950s and 1970s, the Globe was a premier venue hosting many famous acts, such as Buddy Holly, the Platters, Guy Mitchell, the Rolling Stones, the Animals, Cilla Black, Carl Perkins and Chuck Berry. The Beatles twice played at the Globe, the first time being Friday 22 November 1963, the day U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The Globe has hosted other stars, such as Cliff Richard, the Shadows and Lonnie Donegan, who made their acting debuts here in pantomime. Cliff Richard and the Shadows composed their "Stars Fell on Stockton" (B-side to "Wonderful Land") here and much of the music for the Cliff Richard film Summer Holiday whilst taking part in pantomime at the Globe. As late as the 1970s, bands such as Mud, Showaddywaddy and the Bay City Rollers played here.
Whilst the theatre played host to these famous bands, it was also a cinema and showed the very first 3D film in the region, House of Wax in 1953. The last film was The Sting, on 15 June 1974. Status Quo were the final rock band to play there in December 1974, but the very last show was on 5 February 1975 when the London Philharmonic Orchestra staged a concert. The doors of the Globe closed only to re-open as a bingo venue for a few years until closing for good in 1997. There had been several plans to reopen the venue in recent years, including a plan in 2002 to transform it into a nightclub, but none were realised until it was announced in 2010 that the building would be restored to its former glory at a cost of £4m, and will reopen as venue for music, comedy and other events.
Many of the original ornamental features have survived and the Theatres Trust described the Grade II-listed building as "an excellent example of its kind" and had it as one of 68 buildings on its 'at risk' register. Restoration work is currently being overseen by English Heritage to maintain its Art Deco character and it is expected to reopen in 2017. It’s estimated that 82,500 people will visit the Globe each year and will spend around £2.5m in the town centre.