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Brighton Hippodrome Stage Control Equipment

Hippodrome Stage Control Equipment
Peter Groves
Hippodrome Stage Control Equipment
Peter Groves
Hippodrome Stage Control Equipment
Peter Groves

My Time Machine?

No this industrial equipment is not my Time Machine, it’s the stage control and lighting gear from a tiny room high up in the roof of the Brighton Hippodrome.  It’s still in situ, stage right and up a narrow flight of stairs, high above the stage!  It looks like it could do with a tad of WD40 and a new fuse to get “lights and the curtain up” again!  I wonder when it was last in action; could be 50 years ago or more, when bands of the 60’s played there!  I don’t know exactly when the Hippodrome stopped as a theatre and bingo took over, my guess is late 1960’s or very early 1970’s, someone will know?  Many thanks to Matsim Properties Ltd who allowed me to take and post the photos!

Comments about this page

  • I think that the year the Hippodrome stopped being a theatre was 1965.

    By Derek Lake (02/03/2021)
  • Such good news to learn that the gear is still in situ.

    By Nicholas Burdett (02/03/2021)
  • It is really important that you all understand the gears and switches you see in the photographs are only the stage lighting control. Made by Strand electric in 40/50s it’s easy to check. A similar Lighting control was installed in the Theatre Royal Brighton in the 50s. The stage did not need controlling because it did not move, no revolve or sliding structures. The scenery which was raised out of view or lowered into view was achieved by crew hauling on ropes just as the Theatre Royal Brighton does to this day. The magic of the hippodrome was it’s auditorium which the national favourite theatre architect converted from a Circus to a variety theatre. It is as a multi performance space that the hippodrome can be expected to thrive today. Literally back to a ring and stage. Think small Albert Hall.

    By Stephen Holroyd (04/03/2021)
  • Thanks Stephen, I assumed that the large gears moved curtains or stage equipment…… they moved what……..lights? Seem so big they could move a mountain!

    By Mr Peter Groves (05/03/2021)
  • This is def the switch room which I believe is a) listed in its own right and b) because of the heat and electricity involved, had quite a bit of asbestos in the surroundings. The flies (for scenery moving), if I remember correctly, were opposite the switches.

    By James (03/05/2021)

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