Theatre History Podcast # 33

Rediscovering the Victorian Theatre at the Alexandra Palace with James White

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When it opened in the 1870s, the Alexandra Palace, or “Ally Pally,” was a massive entertainment complex, meant to serve as “the People’s Palace.” Over the course of its lifetime, it’s seen multiple fires, served as an internment camp during the First World War, and been the site of one of the first television broadcasts. It’s also home to a spectacular and historically-significant Victorian theatre. James White, our guest this week, is a curator working on restoring the complex, as well as the theatre.

vintage event poster
Ad for Alexandra Palace Theatre, featuring a scene from The Show's the Thing, starring Gracie Fields, c. 1933.

Links:

drawing of theatre
The Alexandra Palace Theatre in 1875, rebuilt after the 1873 fire.
vintage photo of theatre
The theatre being used as a storage facility in 1967. 
Photo of theater
The theatre in 2014, prior to its restoration.

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