Hulme Hippodrome

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Hulme Hippodrome
Grand Junction Theatre
Second Manchester Repertory Theatre
Hulme Hippodrome, Warwick Street. From the corner..jpg
Interior of the Hulme Hippodrome, 2011
AddressChichester Road, Hulme
United Kingdom
ArchitectJ. J. Alley

The Hulme Hippodrome, originally known as the Grand Junction Theatre and Floral Hall, opened in Preston Street, Hulme, Manchester, on 7 October 1901. It and the nearby Playhouse Theatre in Warwick Street, built at the same time, were part of the theatrical empire of W. H. Broadhead. The two venues were connected by an arcade, at the centre of which was Broadhead's company headquarters.[1] The architect was J.J. Alley.[2] Initially the theatre staged mainly dramatic productions, while the Playhouse presented variety performances, but in 1905 the names and functions of the theatres were interchanged: the Hippodrome became the Grand Junction, and the variety performances were transferred to the new Hippodrome.[1]

The Hippodrome was last used as a theatre in the 1960s; from the mid-1970s until its closure in 1988 it was used as a bingo hall. Since then most of the building has remained empty, and it has been placed on Manchester City Council's Buildings at Risk Register.[2]

The building was bought by Gilbert Deya Ministries in 1999, and services were held in part of the ground floor.[3] The church spent £200,000 on the building and in 2013 leased it a charity, Youth Village, they then decided to sell the building.[4]

The Friends of Hulme Hippodrome had hoped to get the building listed as an asset of community value, which would have given the community group six months to raise the money needed to buy the building from the owner before it went out to general market. The application, however, was turned down by Manchester City Council. A council spokesman said: "There would also be a significant cost to bring the building back into use—into the millions—and without a [business] plan in place it would be unfair for us to assume they could turn the building around."[4]

The building was sold at auction on 18 May 2017 at the Macron Stadium, Bolton, for £325,000.[5][6] In September 2017 it was reported that squatters had moved into the building and were bringing it back into community use.[7] but in 2018 they were removed by the government. In September 2019, it was named on the Victorian Society's list of the top ten most endangered buildings in England and Wales.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Rudyard, Nigel; Wyke, Terry (1994), Manchester Theatres, Bibliography of North West England, p. 37, ISBN 978-0-947969-18-9
  2. ^ a b "Hulme Hippodrome", The Theatres Trust, retrieved 1 October 2010
  3. ^ "Gilbert Deya Ministries: list of UK pastors", Gilbert Deya Ministries, archived from the original on 9 June 2013, retrieved 22 May 2013
  4. ^ a b Abbit, Beth (4 August 2016). "Campaigners hoping to bring Hulme Hippodrome back into use say they won't give up their fight". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  5. ^ Smithers, Dominic (31 March 2017). "The former Hulme Hippodrome is going up for auction...and it could be yours for £300,000". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  6. ^ "For Sale By Auction: Nia Centre The Playhouse Theatre, Chichester Rd Hulme Manchester, Lancashire, M15 5JJ". Auction House. Archived from the original on 7 June 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2018. See also lot details.
  7. ^ Abbit, Beth (4 September 2017). "Inside Hulme Hippodrome: How squatters have given the building a new lease of life". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Colliery and tunnel on Victorian Society 'at risk' list". BBC News. Retrieved 13 September 2019.

Coordinates: 53°27′52″N 2°14′59″W / 53.464321°N 2.249587°W / 53.464321; -2.249587