Albert Theatre & Opera House, Brighouse

The Albert Hall, Huddersfield Road, Brighouse was designed by Sharp & Waller for the Albert Hall Company Limited.

It cost £4,000 to build.

It opened on 12th October 1898.

It accommodated 1200 people with seating on 3 levels.

The stage backdrop depicted a scene from Constantinople.

It was originally intended to call it the Victoria Hall.

In 1908, as the New Albert Theatre, it was owned by brothers Walter Morton Cameron and T. Morton Powell, who also owned the Queens Theatre, Farnworth and the Star Theatre, Swansea.

It was the major theatre in the town, until most of the interior was swept away and it was converted to a cinema in 1929.

It was popularly known as The Ranch on account of the number of western films shown.

Like many cinemas, it had special Saturday morning programmes for children in the 1950s/1960s. On one Saturday in the year, admission and ice creams were free. The manager at the time was Uncle Peter Bretton.

In 1963, the Star Bingo Club began there for two nights per week, with films on the other nights.

The bingo closed and the place reverted to films in 1965.

It was owned by the Leeds-based Star Group of Companies [1960s].

It closed as a cinema in 1972. The final film was Love Story.

Since then, it has been used for bingo and as a social club, and has had several names, including Walker Bingo Hall and the New Kingsway Bingo & Social Club.

In 2007, there were proposals to convert the building into a bar and restaurant. It has subsequently had several names, including the Barracuda and the Calder

© Malcolm Bull 2021
Revised 15:13 / 15th May 2021 / 4030

Page Ref: MMA37

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