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Page last updated at 10:39 GMT, Monday, 13 December 2010
Mansfield Palace theatre celebrates 100 years

Mansfield Palace Theatre programme c.1950
An exhibition telling the story of the theatre is on at Mansfield Museum until 2011

The Mansfield Palace theatre is celebrating its centenary.

Originally a cinema, the Palace Electric Cinema opened on 13 December 1910 but its name and purpose have evolved over the years.

Andrew Tucker is the current manager at the theatre on Leeming Street and said there's lots to celebrate, "One hundred doesn't happen to many theatres.

"Many of them are turned into bingo halls or fall into disrepair or just fade away but not the Palace in Mansfield."

The move from cinema to theatre occurred due to an increase in competition and the venue's technology becoming outdated.

Just after World War I there was a huge influx of men into the area that needed to be entertained so more cinemas were built.

As the Palace Electric Cinema was one of the first it did not have the same facilities as the newer entertainment venues.

Andrew Tucker said: "It marketed itself as having quality pictures but it was basically a euphemism for 'sorry we have no sound'."

The move towards theatre was made when Sherwood Palaces Limited came in and took over the lease and put on variety and review shows.

An early photograph of Mansfield Palace Theatre c.1920

Mr Tucker discovered a number of productions were a bit risque.

He said: "Some shows had incredible titles including 'We couldn't wear less'."

In its 100-year history, the theatre did close for two years and was reportedly badly vandalised.

But in 1953, the District Council bought the empty shell for £11,500. The theatre was then renovated and re-opened as the Civic Hall.

The theatre has since welcomed a variety of acts to tread its boards including Violet Pretty, who ended up making her name in Hollywood as Anne Heywood.

Curtain Up, an exhibition charting Palace theatre's history in relation to the key social and political events of the last 100 years, is on show at Mansfield Museum until 5 February 2011.


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