A selection of Liverpool history questions submitted to the Liverpool History Society.
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Hello Peter,The site at the junction of Stanley Road and Scotland Road is where the Rotunda Theatre was and started off as a public house in 1854. About 1866, the proprietor , Mr Dennis Gannell opened a large room upstairs to present his shows. Mr Charles Wood, for five years musical director at the Adelphi Theatre, Christian Street, came to the Rotunda on 1st August 1870 to take up the position of musical and stage director, and was associated with the theatre for over 25 years. In 1873, a new balcony, gallery and stage was constructed. There was also 16 private boxes installed. In 1877 a disastrous fire destroyed the building. A new theatre was built with a larger stage at the Scotland Road end of the building. The grand opening of the new Rotunda Theatre took place on Friday 20th December 1878, under the patronage of His Worship the Mayor of Bootle, Edward Grindley.The theatre was acquired by Messrs. Bent's Brewery Co. Ltd, and Charles Wood, then Manager was succeeded by Matthew Montgomery. The interior was re-constructed in 1899 and although no details of this appear to have been recorded.The well known comedian Robb Wilton, whose Liverpool debut had been at the Theatre Royal, Anfield in 1890 appeared at the Rotunda Theatre in March 1917. On the 21st September 1940, the theatre was completely destroyed by enemy action. The last performances at the Rotunda were of Star Variety with a bill of first class acts once nightly at 7.00pm. The site of the Rotunda Theatre was cleared some time after the war and was subsequently laid out with grass and small trees as it remains to date. RegardsRob AinsworthLiverpool History Society