Lawrence Batley Theatre

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Coordinates: 53°38′42″N 1°46′48″W / 53.645°N 1.780°W / 53.645; -1.780

The Lawrence Batley Theatre

The Lawrence Batley Theatre is a theatre in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England which offers drama, music, dance and comedy.

The theatre is named after Lawrence Batley, a local entrepreneur and philanthropist, who founded a nationwide cash and carry chain.

The building was originally built in 1819 as a Methodist chapel, called the Queen Street Chapel[1]. The architect is unknown but the chief mason was Joseph Kaye, the man who was also responsible for Huddersfield station[2][1]. It was opened on 9 July 1819 and the reporter in the Leeds Mercury described it as "one of the most handsome and commodious chapels in the kingdom; being capable of accommodating 3000 persons, and has been erected at an expense of from 8 to £10,000"[3]. The chapel became a mission in 1906 until a decline in numbers saw the mission move out of the building in 1970 to a new building in King Street[4]. In 1973 the building was converted into an arts centre. However serious structural problems were discovered by Kirklees Metropolitan Council in 1975 and the Arts Centre was rehoused into Venn Street Arts Centre and the building remained vacant before being sublet to Novosquash Limited and converted to a squash club known as The Ridings. It also housed a restaurant and a The Catacombs Disco[5]. [6]In 1989 the Kirkless Theatre Trust was given the go ahead to save the building from deterioration and launch Huddersfield's newest theatre. Building work for the theatre started in September 1992 and took 4 years to complete.

External links[edit]

  1. ^ a b Royle, Edward (1994). Queen Street Chapel and Mission Huddersfield. York: Huddersfield Local History Society. p. 7. ISBN 0950913421. 
  2. ^ Hepple, Philip (1994). "The Batley is the biz". The Stage and Television Today. September 15: 23 – via Entertainment Industry Magazine Archive. 
  3. ^ "Leeds, Saturday, July 10". Leeds Mercury. 10 July 1918. Retrieved 30 March 2017. 
  4. ^ "Huddersfield Mission: History of the Mission". Huddersfield Mission. Retrieved 30 March 2017. 
  5. ^ "Lawrence Batley Theatre". The Theatres Trust Theatres Database. Retrieved 30 March 2017. 
  6. ^ Lawrence Batley Archive. "A New Theatre for Kirklees".