Oxford Galleries

London architects Adamson and Kinns drew up plans in 1921 for a cinema on New Bridge Street. City Amusements was formed in April of that year and the proposed capital was £250,000. The chosen site was No. 49 New Bridge Street. John Dobson's house would need to be demolished.

The picture hall was to be called the Oxford, with a dance hall, restaurant, billiard saloon and tea rooms. The plans survive in Tyne and Wear Archives. The façade was to be in cream terracotta with Corinthian pillars. The spacious vestibule would lead to a semi-circular foyer and then into the theatre. Staircases from the vestibule would lead to the billiard room and basement restaurant. There would be lifts to the circles and galleries of the theatre. The stalls would hold 967 people, the lower circle 540 and the upper circle 405. This was a vast size for a 1921 theatre. In addition the restaurant and dance floor would both accommodate 800 people, plus 1500 in the balcony.

The council approved the plans on 27 April 1921 but the promoters withdrew the application. Raising the funds might have been the problem. In 1923 City Amusements instead built Oxford Galleries dance hall for £75,000. Later a nightclub (Tiffany’s, the Ritzy, Ikon, The Studio, Central Park, Diva, Liquid Envy and Club LQ).

But, for a whole generation of North Easterners, it will always be known as the Oxford Galleries.

This page documents the demolition of The Oxford Galleries and construction of Oxford House Student Accommodation.

Description courtesy of Sitelines.

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