The Davenport Theatre, affectionately
known locally as "The Davvy" was situated on the main A6 between
Hazel Grove and Stockport Town Centre.
The Davenport opened it's doors to the
public on Thursday the 17th of June 1937. The opening ceremony was performed by
the then Mayor of Stockport, Alderman George Padmore JP.
The unique design of the building was
awarded to local architect, Charles Hartley, LRIBA FMSA by the owners Mrs. J.C.
Burns and her son Mr. E. C. Burns. The main contractor was G & W Smith
(Builders) Ltd. Of Hyde Grove, Manchester, with the main steelwork, supplied by
British Steel, erected by Heenan, Beddow & Sturmey Ltd. Of Newton Heath,
The Davenport having
seating for 1750 patron, 500 in the balcony and 1250 on the ground floor, all
with line of sight perfect from every seat, had for the day, the very best in
high tech equipment, including Holophane ! Living Light !, Mirrophonic, the
latest and best of the Western Electric Sound Systems, the most up to date 3
manual Compton Theatre Organ, heating and ventilation, filtered, warmed or
cooled, with the 18,000 cubic feet of conditioned air entering the auditorium
every minute, with a complete air change every twelve minutes and a fully
equipped stage sufficient for general theatrical requirements complete with
At the front of the Theatre was a
lay-by to enable patrons to be dropped off and collected before parking the car
on the huge car park at the rear of the theatre.
In the balcony, were dual seats, which were real favourites of
courting couples in those days.
On the first floor, above the entrance
foyer, the Davenport sported a first class spacious Cafe complete with polished
dance floor. Symbolic sketches were reproduced on the walls.
Mr. & Mrs. Burns had many successful
years in the theatre business.
Following the death of Mr. Burns, Mrs.
Burns sold the Davenport to Mr. Jack Edge, whose family owned the Tatton Cinema
at Gatley and the Savoy Cinema at Heaton Moor, Stockport. The sale was
conditional on the understanding that the Davenport would continue to run not
just as a cinema but as a full theatre. This undertaking was honoured up to the
During the 1960`s the cafe was leased to Stanneylands who
re-developed it into a quality restaurant.
The main entrance and auditorium at
this time was also given a makeover, with deep pile carpets in the foyer and
the auditorium walls draped with tasteful material. A Bar was also installed in
the main foyer.
In the early seventies following the
end of the lease by Stanneylands, the cafe/restaurant area was developed into a
The two auditoriums were then named The Major and the
Also in the seventies the Davenport
was chosen to be featured in the film "Yanks", the auditorium being
given a wartime period look and featuring the Compton organ played by the late
Over the era that Jack edge owned the
theatre, the Davenport was renowned for its quality
productions and pantomimes,
plus pop concerts, drama plays and productions by local amateur operatic and
During this time the Compton Organ was used regularly each weekend featuring Joyce Alldred
who was resident organist for 17years from 1966. Following the decision by Jack Edge to
retire in the mid nineties, the Tatton Group as then the chain was known, was
taken over by Apollo Leisure. This association was sadly short lived as by
March 1999 the theatre had been closed and very swiftly demolished to the shock
and disbelief of the people of Stockport.
THE COMPTON ORGAN
Clearing the Auditorium
prior to Demolition
The Davey being demolished
Joyce at the Console 1966