Magnificent building which stood at Coleridge Street, Cross Fields, Halifax with its classical Corinthian-pillared front was designed by Charles Child and opened on 9th June 1840. It was built at a cost of £10,000.
The large room was capable of holding 3,000 to 4,000 people. It was used for public meetings and lectures. There was a gallery at the west end.
It housed the Royal Hotel with stables, a coach house and bedrooms for travelling members of Oddfellows lodges who were looking for work.
In 1841, Franz Liszt gave a recital here.
In 1847, a packed public meeting was held here – this was the only hall where such a meeting could take place – and decided to petition the Government for a charter of incorporation to be granted to the town.
In 1858, Charles Dickens gave a reading here.
On 16th November 1872, several people were injured when flooring in the Hall gave way.
In 1888, Joe Helliwell established a music hall, with Frank Harcourt as master of ceremonies.
In 1900, Frank MacNaughten established the People's Palace.
The Manchester Unity of Oddfellows is recorded here .
From 1920, it was the Alhambra cinema. There was a restaurant and a luncheon bar.
In April 1845, a large audience turned up for a show which promised American artistes, comedians and dancers, but no show transpired and the promoter disappeared with the takings; it was significant that the programme advertised songs such as The absent man, Right slick away I went, and I'll calculate there'll be a row.
In November 1872, the floor of the lobby collapsed, injuring 11 people.
Following the Public Libraries Act , a municipal library was established in Halifax, and the Assembly Rooms and the Oddfellows' Hall were both considered suitable, but the Hall was rejected.
The Hall also held a variety licence and hosted all kinds of popular entertainment until 1903, when its licence was transferred to the newly built Palace Theatre.
In December 1905, the Halifax Friendly & Trades Club opened at the hall.
In 1954, Halifax Council agreed to buy the club for £11,000. This brought into public ownership a building that was somewhat decayed but still housed the Alhambra Cinema, and a dancing school. The Halifax Deaf & Dumb Association had its offices there & various other organisations used the building. The Royal Hotel still occupied part of the block.
In 1954, it was suggested that the public library be moved here.
There was a Vaults Bar here in the late 1950s.
The building was demolished in July 1963. The site was never developed
See Chartism, Royal Hotel & Oddfellows' Hall, Halifax and Stansfield's Variety Theatre, Halifax
Page Ref: MMO172
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