Saturday, March 7

From Chapel to Cinema

The chapel at Dalton Square has had quite a history since it was sold in 1859. The first buyers were the Lancaster Total Abstinence Society, who renamed the building 'The Palatine Hall and Temperance Institute'. In 1907 John Porter and William Ferguson bought the building and turned it into the Hippodrome Music Hall; seemingly Gracie Fields was one of the artists to perform there. A Blackpool-based company turned it into the County Cinema (as seen above) in 1920. The city council currently owns the building, which has reverted to the name 'Palatine Hall'. Canon Billington's parish history includes a brief reference to the post-church use of the building: "The Dalton Square chapel, which had never been consecrated, was sold in 1859 to the Total Abstinence Society for £1400. This did not include the priest's house. Under the new name of Palatine Hall it was used for concerts, public meetings, &c. It was again sold in 1907, and is now a place of variety entertainments called the Hippodrome."