Partnership of archive & local history organisations at Manchester Central Library. Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Blogs by volunteers and staff. Visit archivesplus.org for events, visitor information and more.
Continuing on our journey through Manchester theatres, in part 2 we take a look at some of the theatres which were built from 1904 onwards. Our huge theatre collection contains playbills, photographs, programmes and much more, here is a small selection which is available to view online. When Archives+ is open to visitors again in the near future, the full theatre collection will be accessible to view in the search room at Central Library by completing a booking form.
In this memory box, most of the theatres are still working theatres and I’m sure you will agree we can’t wait to get back to the theatre as soon as lockdown restrictions end. Why not start your journey by looking back through this fantastic resource. If like us, you are missing the theatre or perhaps you have never been to a show yet, this memory box will give you the chance to find out more or speak to the people you know and ask them to share their memories of their own visits to the theatre. Get ready for the curtain to go up and the second half to begin.
Since the first lockdown in March 2020, Archives+ has published 23 online memory boxes covering a variety of themes and neighbourhoods in Manchester. Below you will find a collection of theatre images and sound files to enjoy. Dig out your old photos too, these can also be a brilliant resource to trigger fond memories of family times. We encourage you to share your findings on social media, either as comments on our Facebook page or on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #ArchivesPlusMemorybox
If you are unable to share your photos and stories online, when libraries are open, bring copies of your family memories into the library. In the coming year we will produce an exhibition in your local library of selected submissions, shared both online and in person.
Please make sure that if you share any information with us that the person you have spoken to is happy for you to share it with Archives+.When sharing your findings try to avoid sharing too much personal information such as surnames and date of birth as these details can identify your loved ones.
Unlocking Your Sound Archive have produced a blog about conducting oral history interviews with family members. The audio clips included in this online memory box have been kindly supplied by Unlocking Your Sound Archive.
Ardwick Empire 1904-1935, renamed The New Manchester Hippodrome, 1935-1961
For images of “Ardwick Hippodrome” programmes see this earlier blog written by one of the Archives+ volunteers.
Opera House 1912 – present day
The Library Theatre Company 1952-2010
The Royal Exchange Theatre 1976 – present day
Bridgewater Hall 1996 – present day
We hope you have enjoyed looking back at these photographs of Manchester’s theatres. We will return with a new neighbourhood or theme next month. If you would like to see more images, don’t forget to check out the photograph albums on Flickr and the Manchester Local Image Collection .