Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


Ordnance survey map of PLAYHOUSE THEATRE
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Liverpool (Metropolitan Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SJ 34782 90401


5J3490SE 393/53/1362



II* Theatre 1865, interior remodelled 1912 by Professor Stanley Adshead, extended 1966-68 by Hall, O'Donahue & Wilson. Stucco with slate roof. 3 storey, 7-bay front. 3-bay centre breaks forward under broken pediment. Entablatures to floors. Ground floor central triple entrance with angle pilasters and fanlights in architrave. End bay paired round headed entrances. 3 blind round windows to each side of centre. lst floor has flat composite pilastrade, centre emphasised by paired pilasters at ends. Windows with panelled aprons, pilasters, cornices; round windows over. Windows to centre bays have balustraded windows with tympana under relieving arches. 2nd floor has oculi between panelled pilasters to central bays, bullseye windows to flanking bays. End bays have cupolas on short Tuscan colonnade. Addition to left of reinforced concrete with glass cladding provided new foyer and cloakroom on ground floor with box office, restaurant and bar spaces above. To rear large open workshop and studio theatre plus further dressing rooms. Ground floor facade has sets of double entrance doors, above are two cylindrical cantilevered projections largely clad in glass. Interior: Auditorium has tiers of balconies on cast iron columns; decoration in Neo-Greek style. Additional foyer, restaurant and bars have exposed shuttered concrete walling with suspended steel staircases bolted through the shuttered walling. The Architects' Journal described the refreshment areas as a brilliant concept, joyously realised, which exploits asymmetrical volumes and ever varying spaces yet achieves unity and also balance with the adjoining Victorian facade.' The original theatre is significant as an early and rare work by one of the pioneers of the Liverpool School of Architecture, in the Grecian style favoured by the school at that date; it is also historically important as one of the first repertory theatres in Britain. The foyers added a vivacious tone making the theatre a place to see and be seen in the true sprit of 1960's theatre going, a true citizens' theatre.

Source Architects' Journal, 4 December 1968, pp. 1327

Listing NGR: SJ3478290401


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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Books and journals
'Architects Journal' in 4 December, (1968), 1327


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 25 Oct 2001
Reference: IOE01/03972/30
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Brendan Oxlade. Source Historic England Archive
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