What happened at the Palace?

George Sanger built his Amphitheatre on the corner of High Street and George Street in 1883. Initially it was a circus building but was also used for opera and drama from its early days. The building was converted to a theatre in 1908 by Frank Matcham, a well known and prolific builder of theatres, and was renamed the Royal Palace Theatre. Films were also shown and in 1929 the theatre was equipped to facilitate talking movies. Films, variety and theatre continued until early 1961 when it was demolished along with the adjoining Sanger's Hotel.

This view is of Sanger's Hotel on the corner of George Street, but the striking façade continued down High Street and was complemented with eight female figures standing on pedestals holding ornamented gas lamps.

The façade continued as far as the present day Post Office building which now also accommodates shops at the front with the Post Office being relegated to the rear. Part of the façade still exists above the parade of shops next to the Post Office building

This view shows the last of the eight statues and marks the extent of the Sanger's building in relation to the current Post Office building.

But what went on inside the Palace? Pictures of the interior are very rare, as are those who can remember it.
Do you have any knowledge of the layout behind the facade? Pictures of the theatre or hotel interiors would be most welcome.


Anonymous said...

I saw my first film here, Tommy the Toreador with Tommy Steel singing Little White Bull. I think the theatre was in the George Street end.

Lez, an Ancient Ramsgatonian. said...

Before the second world war, my youngest sister, myself and our parents, attended a number of pantomimes at his theatre as a Christmas treat. We went to saturday night performances in early February and I had bought the neccessary tickets for the Dress Circle,-two at one shilling and sixpence and two at half price, nine pence,-
on my way home from St Georges School. One year, because of this outing, we had two Christmas dinners. We had to pass by Jane's fish and poultry shop while walking into town and dad and mum stopped to talk to Mr and Mrs Janes as we passed by. They always had a wonderful display of Turkeys, Geese, Ducks and tame rabbits hanging outside the shop before Christmas and our parents always bought a large turkey each year. We were a family of seven and in addition there was always an aunt and an uncle plus two family friends from London with at least two of my sister's boy friends at the table, how mum coped with the cooking, we will never know. However, to get back to my story, Mr Janes had one Turkey left over from his show and he offered it to dad saying that as we had had the best, we might like to by the worst, It didn't have a lot of meat on the brest apparently and they finaly settled on a price of five shillings. We went off and enjoyed the pantomime, ( dad always reckoned that they wern't as good as when he was younger) and collected the bird on our way home. We had our second family Christmas dinner the next day and the bird had far more meat on it than had been expected, once it was carved. After that I went many times to see film shows and rember that from our seats in the upper circle,-The Gods-, we could leave by a series of stone steps down to pavement level and exit through a plain door/doors into George street where there wa often a barrow selling hot chestnuts. There were other Saturday night shows held there, Hughie Green was one of them, I never went but one of my friends did with his father.

Anonymous said...

I went in 1833 to the grand opening!

Shame the other comments have been removed obviously didn't like them.

Phil said...

That might account for some of the confusion! The debate can continue here or over at the discussion group.

Any informed opionion is genuinely appreciated because unless it's recorded it will be lost one day. That's the point of this site.

Anonymous said...

Thats my point mate it didn't open in 1833 and I wasn't there. You removed 11 comments coz you didn't like them so is the visitor given the right information and whos opinion is this.

Phil said...

Thanks for pointing out the typo Anonymous. I took my info from the Theatre Trust website but miss typed it. Their entry also contains errors (I think) because it states that the Palace closed in 1950, whereas a contributor above says he saw Tommy the Toreador there. Tommy the Toreador was released in 1959! Another typo I guess.

As for the missing posts, they should still be there under "older posts". Nothing has been deleted.

This site is a genuine attempt to record your knowledge of old Ramsgate. Anyone can comment and the results are available for everyone to see.

Anonymous said...

Last pint was pulled in Sangers Bar 1961 and the building was demolished that same year.

Anonymous said...

The two remaining sentinels in your picture taken from Hardres Street were removed in 1939.

After the previous removal of sentinels (that went to the Hall by the Sea Gardens on Margate seafront) as compensation to Lord George Sanger a subscription was raised as a result of which a portrait was painted of the man which hung in the Theatre for many years.