The Aston Hippodrome
(), also known as The Hipp
, was a popular theatre
in the Aston
area of Birmingham
It was opened to the public on December 7, 1908 after the completion of construction at a cost of £10,000. It was designed by James and Lister Lea
who had also designed the Bartons Arms public house
in the area.
The theatre was seriously damaged in 1938 by a fire which resulted in a £38,000 refurbishment.
On June 4, 1960, the theatre building ceased performances with the final performance a revue, A to Z of Striptease. The building was renovated into a bingo
hall and remained so until its demolition in September 1980. The Drum
, an arts centre, is located on the theatre's site.
Performances were held twice daily and amongst these performances were famous acts such as Laurel and Hardy
, George Formby
, Gracie Fields
, Larry Grayson
, Morecambe and Wise
and Judy Garland
who performed there in 1951.
The opening chapter of Ron Dawson
's novel, The Last Viking
, vividly describes one of the 'strip tease shows' which dominated the Hipp's offerings during the mid to late 1950s. The show was called 'Heatwave' and the scene captures the sad atmosphere of the 'artistic tableaux' which characterised these shows.