Webpage created: June 26, 2017.
Webpage updated: June 26, 2017
THEATRES AND CINEMAS IN OLD PLYMOUTH
THEATRE ROYAL I
The opening of Plymouth's second theatre took place soon after the closure of the first, in Broad Hoe Lane, in 1758.
A lease was taken by a Mr Arthur of the Bath Players on three partly-built houses in Frankfort Street, close by the Frankfort Gate, and these were turned into a theatre. So eager were the players to get started that they played the first week without a roof over their heads. There was a makeshift gallery but that had to be propped up during one performance because it had started to sway.
It was quite a successful venture, though, and it is said that £38 was taken at the door for the opening performance.
A Mr Joseph Pittard took over the Theatre soon after it had opened but his players also suffered a great deal from drink.
The Theatre was visited by HRH King George III sometime around 1765 and by 1808 it was running under the illegal and unchallenged title of the Theatre Royal. It was not long afterwards that it was replaced by the Theatre Royal II.