St. James' Theatre & Exhibition Hall

Oxford Street has long been connected with entertainment.  In the 1800s the Princes Theatre and the Hippodrome sat on one side and the St. James Theatre and the Palace across the way.  The St. James Theatre and Exhibition Hall, seen above, dominated the street with its tall clock tower. 

When "moving pictures" made an appearance, the St. James Hall became an important venue for showing them to large and enthusiastic audiences. 

The Arthur Lloyd Theatre and Music Hall site states that the St. James's Theatre and Exhibition Hall was built in 1884.  The drawing above shows the configuration of the building in 1888.  The theatre closed in 1907 but reopened as a cinema in 1908.

The theatre must have been demolished not long after its reopening because in 1912 work began on an even more imposing building which now occupies this site.  The St. James Building, designed by Clegg, Fryer and Penman, was built for the Calico Printers Association.