|Tags||Cinema / Screening Theatre|
The New Hippodrome and Palace of Varieties was formally opened on Monday 2nd September 1907. Its first Managing Director was Signor Rino Pepi, an Italian ex patriot who was originally a quick-change artist and impersonator whose love of theatre took him into a management career. The theatre was designed by G Gordon Hoskins and built by Owen and Ward of Birmingham, a firm specialising in theatre building. It is constructed from local Middlesbrough red brick with terracotta dressings. Above the Parkgate entrance is a 64ft. high pyramid-roofed tower (housing a water tank) which gives the theatre's distinctive appearance. The ornamental canopy is a replica of the original iron and glass structure, which was destroyed by a traffic accident in the 1960's.