Palace Theatre of Varieties 140 Union Street Oldham
Built for Walter de Frece, the Palace Theatre of Varieties opened on 9th November 1908 with a total seating capacity of 2,380, in stalls and pit, dress circle, gallery and boxes. Over the years all the main stars of music hall and variety appeared on the stage. In 1915 it played host to the only pantomime undertaken by Gracie Fields.
The theatre closed on 25th October 1935 following purchase by Oscar Deutsch’s Odeon Theatres Ltd. Architect Harry Weedon was employed to gut the interior and transform it into an Art Deco style cinema with 1,707 seats in stalls and circle. The exterior of the building remained structurally unaltered apart from a new canopy and entrance doors. It re-opened as the Odeon Theatre on 19th August 1936 and in July 1974 it was converted into a triple screen cinema and this remained open until it was closed by the Rank Organisation on 15th October 1983. The building lay empty and unused for nine years until 1992 when it was demolished. The Link Centre, offices of a social services centre operated by the local council was built on the site.