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Alexandra Theatre (United Kingdom)

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Alexandra Theatre – United Kingdom

The Alexandra Theatre, commonly known as The Alex, is a theatre on Station Street in Birmingham, England.Construction of the theatre commenced in 1900 and was completed in 1901. The architects were Owen & Ward. The theatre was opened on 27 May 1901 as the Lyceum Theatre on John Bright Street however it was met with few theatre goers. As a result, it was sold to Lester Collingwood for £4,000, who renamed it Alexandra on 22 December 1902. Collingwood was killed in a road traffic accident in 1910 and was succeeded by Leon Salberg, who died in his office at the theatre in 1938. His ghost is said to inhabit the theatre. Other ghost sightings include that by a cleaner of a woman dressed in grey in 1987. It was rebuilt with a fine Art Deco auditorium in 1935 to a design by Roland Satchwell. Upon Leon Salberg's death, Derek Salberg took over the running of the theatre. The Salberg family ran the theatre from 1911 to 1977. Following World War II, the theatre became very popular with the local population. By 1950, 85% of season ticket holders lived within the boundaries of Birmingham.Although the main entrance was originally situated on John Bright Street, a new main entrance block was built on Suffolk Street between 1967-1969 to a design by the John Madin Design Group, with a wide bridge linking the two - from the inside, the appearance is that of a single building. Satchwell's interior was refurbished in 1992 by the Seymour Harris Partnership. The Alex was sold to Apollo Leisure in the 1990s. Derek Salberg's autobiography "Much Ado About Theatre" had its foreword written by Laurence Olivier. Under Leon Salberg, the Alex was famous for its pantomimes such as "Mother Goose".The theatre currently seats 1,371 and hosts a busy programme of touring drama, West End shows and stand-up comedy. It was the home of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company between 1990 and 1997.Neville Chamberlain delivered a speech at the theatre on 13 October 1918.Arthur Lowe died of a stroke in his dressing room before a performance of Home at Seven on 15 April 1982 aged 66.

Practical Information

Address: Station Street

City: Birmingham

Official site: http://http://www.alexandratheatre.org.uk

Capacity: 1347 seats

Opened: 1901

Architect(s): Owen & Ward (1900), Roland Satchwell (1935), John Madin Design Group (1967), Seymour Harris Partnership (1992)

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