Doncaster Civic Theatre (Arcadia)

Got in as soon as we could but unfortunately a bit too late as all the good stuff was auctioned off within a few weeks of closure.

Vintage pic – note the dome


The Civic Theatre, Doncaster was originally built in 1921 and when it was first opened was used as a sports hall and then turned into a theatre by architect Edgar Wilburn in 1922.

From this point it was owned by the pantomime star, theatrical producer and comedian Harry Russell and run with his Newcastle-born wife and former Tiller-girl Madge Allan as ‘The New Arcadia’.

It was converted for Cinema use in the early 1930s, but still run by Harry Russell, the building was renamed the Arcadia Picture House.

The building was bought by the local Council in the late 1940s who converted it into a Theatre and Cinema called the Doncaster Arts Centre.

In the 1970s the Theatre was refurbished and renamed the Civic Theatre. The Theatre can seat 495 on one level and has a traditional proscenium arched stage. There is no flytower.

Modern(ish) pic – note the lack of dome

Apologies for the lack of variety in the pics, there really was very little to see – dressing rooms were just mirrors, formica and white paint, front of house was stripped bare.

Shots from a couple of visits (spent too long failing to see the obvious on the first visit so had to go back a second time)

View from the projection room

Pimped up lighting desk


Moulding detail around the stage

Easily the best surviving feature

A few seats that didn’t get sold off

View from the auditorium

View from the stage

Thanks as ever to the local metal recycling team :thumb and to JW for the company.


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