History of the Kings Theatre
In June 1916, there was a steering meeting held of Stratford Pictures and Amusement, the aim of which was to raise £8000 for the purchase of His Majesty’s Theatre from Mrs Diamond. The first general meeting was held in October that year and plans were subsequently made for the removal and construction of a new building. In 1917 the name “King’s” was approved and the theatre was open and operating by 1919.
The theatre has a unique cinematic history, as it was the first theatre in the Southern Hemisphere to play the ‘Talkies” films, pictures with sound. On 1 April 1927, the publication of the ‘Amusements’ proclaimed:
‘To-night at the King’s Theatre the first public screening of the De Forest Phonofilm will be given and the public owe it to themselves as intelligent people intelligently interested in any event affecting their interests, to be present at the initial public demonstrations in the Southern hemisphere of the most remarkable scientific achievement of the last half-century