The Hippodrome Theatre, Seaside Road, opened in 1883 as the New Theatre Royal and Opera House, having been granted a Royal Patent by the Prince of Wales.
Mr. C.J. Phipps, a London architect who designed a number of theatres, was asked to draw plans and help raise finance for the scheme. The interior of the new theatre was partly modelled on his, now famous, Savoy Theatre in London. Before the end of the century, most of the famous theatrical personalities of the time had appeared at the theatre, including Ellen Terry and Richard d’Oyly Carte’s Savoy Opera Company.