It's exactly 100 years since Chorley Little Theatre opened. Here's the description in the Chorley Standard/Weekly News from 1910.
Today, Saturday 3rd September 1910, the new Empire Electric Theatre in Dole Lane, Chorley, will enter upon its career as one of Chorley's Halls devoted specially to the entertainment of people by means of animated pictures. With the enforced closing of the Picture Palace in Mealhouse Lane, the Perfecto Filmographic Co. Ltd, have faced their difficulties with great determination and enthusiasm, and when the new Empire Electric Theatre is opened this evening, the patrons of the old Picture Palace, will not, we think regret the changes that have taken place.
The new hall has been excellently planned, the structure itself being a fine edition to the public buildings of the town. The interior of the hall is 66 ft. long and 50 ft. wide. The height from the floor to the apex of the ceiling is 35 feet. The seating accommodation is sufficient for about 700 persons, and all the seats and chairs are of the tip-up pattern. The floor has a sloping rise of 5ft 6ins, and at the south end there is a gallery accommodating 8 rows of chairs, whilst on the main floor there are 20 rows of seats, each row being sufficient for 25 persons. The best chairs are upholstered in green plush with gilded fittings. Other seats are covered with red leather and red carriage cloth. The aisles on the gallery are carpeted, and linoleum is used in other parts of the hall. The heating and ventilating are on the latest systems. There are 16 cold air inlets and two exhaust ventilators. The hall is very tastefully painted and coloured and the lighting is by electricity and gas flame, and lamps being used over each entrance and exit outside.
The stage and proscenium have received special attention. The proscenium is artisticallly painted to represent red plush draped curtains, heavily embroidered with gold and marble and drawing room panel effects. The stage is fitted with garden scene and tree and curtain side wings, also foot and top lights. There are two dressing rooms and an engine and dynamo room.
The engine is an 11 horse power Crossley, and the dynamo is one of the Lowthy-Parker System, and made by the Edison Swann Co. The sanitary arrangements have not been neglected. The fireproof operating room is situated over the entrance hall. The floor is of concrete and the projection apertures are protected by patent fireproof shutters. The cinematograph is electrically driven and bright pictures are expected.
There are three entrances and four wide exits. The entrance hall, with its tiled floor and stained glass windows looks very smart and business like.
The new hall has been built by Mr. Wm. H, Collinson 39 St. Thomas's Road, Chorley. who is also responsible for the design of the building. The work has been excellently carried out. Among the other contractors are Fred Wilkins Bros., of Liverpool, makers of the scenery and seats. Messrs. Brindle and Son, Furnishers, Market Street, Chorley and Messrs. R. Taylor and Son, Market Place, Chorley. Mr. Walt A. Kay, the electrician and entertainments manager, has had charge of the electrical installation throughout.
The new hall is up to date in every way, and the management feel sure that they will merit the generous patronage of the public.
A dinner was given on Thursday evening at the Clarence Hotel for all who had taken part in the construction etc. of the building.
THE NEW EMPIRE ELECTRIC THEATRE
DOLE LANE, CHORLEY.
Proprietors : the Perfecto Filmograph Co. Ltd.
(late Public Hall Picture Palace)
GRAND OPENING TODAY
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 3rd 1910
Three performances - 2-30. 7-00. 9-00
Monday Sept. 5th and during the week
twice nightly 7-00 and 9-00 o'clock
Childrens Matinee every Saturday at 2-30 1d. 2d. 3d
Entire change of programme
AFFAIRS OF HEARTS - STAN CHESTER.
HARVESTING IN WESTERN CANADA - GIOVANI MEDICI
TILLY THE TOMBOY.
peoples popular prices:- 2d. 3d. 4d. balcony 6d
With thanks to Chorley History Society and Chorley Library for this information.