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‘Air of excitement’ at New Queen’s Theatre
This was Keighley’s New Queen’s Theatre – built in 1900 on the site of a five-story American-style wooden predecessor – photographed during preparations for the bus station offices of 1940.
Although subsequently renamed the Hippodrome, its stone work still proclaims its original title.
Described as “an exceedingly handsome play-house”, it was designed by the great theatre architect Frank Matcham.
Each floor included a “spacious promenade, smoke rooms, retiring rooms and conveniences”, though its outstanding feature was “an arrangement by which every person in the house will have an uninterrupted view of the whole of the stage”.
On its demolition in 1961, a Keighley News correspondent remembered his “happy times” of hurrying straight from work, his tea in his pocket, to join the queue for the pit or gallery.
“Inside the orchestra was tuning up,” he nostalgically recalled inn the article, “and everywhere there was the general air of excitement, waiting for the moment the curtain rose.”