New Princes Theatre

Lake Road, Portsmouth


The New Prince's Theatre was situated in Lake Road, Landport, and originally opened on the 2nd January 1869 as a Circus. This first season did not last long however, ending on the 13th February, and the Theatre then reopened in 1870 renamed the Royal Albert Theatre. This Theatre again was not successful, closing in 1872. The Theatre then received some rebuilding and renovation and re-opened as the Prince's Theatre on the 11th November 1872. On the 24th April 1882, the building burned down. Mr John Waters Boughton acquired the Theatre site, and slowly bought up adjacent properties and land. This gave him a frontage of 95 feet flanked on one side by a Baptist Chapel. The site had a depth of 194 feet to North Town Street. The new Theatre was designed by the architect Frank Matcham and built by F. D. Hall of Portsmouth in 128 days. On the afternoon of the 24th August, 1940, whilst scores of youngsters were sitting down to watch "the gates of Alcatraz", when an air raid hit Portsmouth and the cinema received a direct hit. 8 children unfortunately were killed. The whole area was demolished and made way for housing after the war.