About New Road

Photo:New Road

New Road

Photo by Maureen Brand

Photo:Theatre Royal, New Road

Theatre Royal, New Road

Photo by Maureen Brand

Photo:Amos Wilds buildings, New Road, with Jubilee site opposite

Amos Wilds buildings, New Road, with Jubilee site opposite

Photo:1930s transport in New Road

1930s transport in New Road

Photo:Max Miller statue

Max Miller statue

Photo by Maureen Brand

New Road

A brief history

By Maureen Brand, North Laine resident

Built in 1806, New Road emerged as the result of negotiation between the Prince Regent and town commissioners. The Prince wanted to close part of the old Great East Street which ran close to the Pavilion and he offered to replace that road by building New Road further over, running between North and Church Streets. By 1818 there were 15 houses in the road.

Changing names

New Road became one of the principal homes to theatre and entertainment over the years. The Theatre Royal on the west side was built in 1806-7 and enlarged in 1894. A little further along at Nos 16-17 was Wright's Music Hall, later the New Oxford Music Hall, which burnt down in 1892. Its name changed over the years. Opening again as the Empire Theatre, it became the Coliseum Theatre of Varieties in 1905 and the Court in 1907. In 1909 it became the Court cinema with sound facilities added in 1929. After World War II, in 1947, it reopened as the Dolphin, in 1952 became Her Majesty's and in 1955 the Paris Continental Cinema. It returned to repertory in 1957 and closed in 1963. The building was demolished in 1967.

Evidently cinema and theatre were well attended in 1930, as shown by a photograph of charabancs lining the street.

Cheeky chappie

Across on the east side, attached to the Dome complex, is the Pavilion Theatre built in 1936, and in the garden alongside stands the statue of comedian Max Miller pointing across to the former site of the music hall.

A H  Wilds

Also of note in New Road is the Unitarian Church built in 1820 by A H Wilds.

New look

New Road received a design makeover in 2007, with new paving and seating.

This page was added on 25/02/2008.

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