Pub’s theatrical past is honoured

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The Calder pub in Brighouse town centre is the latest building to be recognised with a blue heritage plaque.

Members of Brighouse Civic Trust unveiled the plaque on the outside of the pub in Huddersfield Road, which was the site of Brighouse’s major theatre for many years.

Mike Stead of Brighouse Civic Trust said: “Originally called the Albert Hall, the building opened first as a concert hall in 1899 and hd seating for 1,200 people on three levels. It was one of the first theatres in the area to be lit by electricity.”

From 1908 the building was known as the New Albert Theatre and, as well as showing ‘talking pictures’, it put on shows by local and touring companies including plays, operas and musicals.

In 1937 the interior was restored with a cinema auditorium and Art Deco-style decoration. On Saturday mornings there would regularly be a queue of excited youngsters snaking along Huddersfield Road for the special programme of films, know to many as the ‘tuppenny rush’.

In the 1970s, the building became the popular Star Bingo Club, opened by Coronation Street’s Pat Phoenix. Since 2007 the building has been a busy public house, firstly called The Barracuda, and recently known as The Calder, part of the Bramwell Pub Company.

Danielle Whitaker, the grand-daughter of one of the Civic Trust members, took the photos as part of her fine art degree course.