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1880 - The Theatres
The town's first theatre was in Wilson Street having been converted from a Salvation Army Barracks. The Royal, as it was grandly named, first opened its doors in 1880. This was demolished in 1911 and replaced by a new purpose built three-storey building consisting of front and back stalls, a dress circle and a gallery. It could seat nine hundred and held twice-nightly shows until it closed in January 1955. In 1959 it reopened as the Las Vegas Continental and later the Costa Constantine night club until being demolished in 1964.
The town's second theatre was built in 1899 initially as a concert hall but in 1904 it became the Hippodrome Music Hall. Three years later it changed its name to the Queens Theatre. Live performances ceased in 1931 when it became the Queens Cinema and thus it remained until it closed in 1959. In 1963 it opened as the first self-service supermarket in the newly formed ASDA chain. It was finally demolished in 1990.
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