Shropshire History

Shropshire

Cinemas & Theatres

Return

to Index

 

Image result for greek theatre

 

Theatre of some kind has probably been in existence since our Stone Age ancestors performed dances to emulate the killing of animals for food. The first instance of theatre as we know it was with the Ancient Greeks, where it is believed to have developed in Athens. There were three types of drama, ie tragedy, comedy, and the satyr play. The Romans loved theatre as well and a number of tragedies and comedies were written during this time. They introduced it to Britain when they invaded.

 

Image result for greek theatre

 

During the Dark and Middle Ages, theatre was provided by troupes of travelling actors called “Mummers”. Many of their plays had a religious or moral basis. A troupe typically consisted of 13-14 members, with everyone taking a share of the profits roughly equivalent to the size of their role. Static theatres became popular during the Elizabethan period, William Shakespeare becoming famous for his plays held at the Globe Theatre in London.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/ec/The_Swan_cropped.png/220px-The_Swan_cropped.png

Typical Elizabethan Open Air Theatre

 

By the late 19th Century, there were theatres in most cities and towns and one off-shoot from this was the music hall. This provided light entertainment for working class people who could not afford the cost of mainstream theatres. Another development during the 19th Century was the magic lantern show. Magic lanterns used a glass lens, a shutter and a powerful lamp to project images from glass slides onto a white wall or screen.

 

In 1894, Louis and Auguste Lumière produced a film called “Sortie de l'usine Lumière de Lyon”, which is considered to be the first true motion picture. From 1894 to the late 1920s, movie theatres showed silent films that were accompanied by a pianist or organist to provide atmosphere. The first known film with sound was exhibited in Paris in 1900 but it was to be many more years before sound motion pictures were made commercially practical. By the 1920s, the first sound films incorporating synchronized dialogue were shown but these were shorts. The first full length talkie was “The Jazz Singer”, released in October 1927.

 

Image result for cinema

 

Cinemas became popular and the multi-view cinema was introduced whereby several films could be seen at the same time. By the 1990s, cinema attendance began to drop with the advent of home videos and many closed.

 

Gazetteer of Theatres and Cinemas

 

Bishop’s Castle - Teme Sparc Theatre

Brampton Rd, Bishops Castle SY9 5AY

 

Bridgnorth - Majestic

Whitburn Street, Bridgnorth WV16 4QP

 

Bridgnorth - Theatre on the Steps

Stoneway Steps, Bridgnorth WV16 4BD

 

Ludlow - Assembly Rooms

1 Mill Street, Ludlow SY8 1AZ

 

Market Drayton - Festival Drayton Centre

Frogmore Road, Market Drayton TF9 3AX

 

Oswestry - Attfield Theatre Company

The Guildhall, Bailey Head, Oswestry SY11 1PZ

 

Oswestry - Kinokulture Cinema

9 Arthur St, Oswestry SY11 1JN

 

Shifnal - Kaleidoscope Theatre

Kemberton Hall, Kemberton, Shifnal TF11 9LH

 

Shrewsbury - Ashton Theatre

Shrewsbury School, Kingsland, Shrewsbury SY3 7BA

 

Shrewsbury - Cineworld

Old Potts Way, Shrewsbury SY3 7ET

 

Shrewsbury - Old Market Hall

The Square, Shrewsbury SY1 1LH

 

Shrewsbury - Theatre Severn

Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8FT

 

Telford - Cineworld

Southwater Square, Telford TF3 4HS

 

Telford - Oakengates Theatre

19 Limes Rd, Telford TF2 6EP

 

Telford - Odeon

Forgegate, Telford TF3 4NE

 

Tenbury Wells - Regal

Teme Street, Tenbury Wells WR15 8AA

 

Wellington - Belfry Theatre

Prince's St, Wellington, Telford TF1 1JG

 

Wem - Town Hall

28-32 High St, Wem, Shrewsbury SY4 5DG

 

Whitchurch - Talbot Theatre

Heath Rd, Whitchurch SY13 2BY