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Plymouth Central Library
Community Services
Drake Circus
Plymouth City Council
Plymouth PL1 2AA
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Palace theatre programme advertising Laurel and Hardy

Plymouth Theatre History

Plymouth has a long and impressive theatrical history. Although physically isolated from the rest of the country, its size and the wealth generated by its trade and naval connections led to the growth of a middle-class who wanted to be entertained.

The constituent three towns of Plymouth, Devonport and Stonehouse had theatres which attracted the country's leading actors, companies and entertainers.

The library service has an extensive archive of playbills, photographs and programmes from the eighteenth century to the present day.

Our original Applause SouthWest website was funded by the National Lottery through the New Opportunities Fund and went live in 2001.

You can see the original Applause SouthWest website thanks to the Internet Archive.

We have now moved all the images to the photo sharing site Flickr where we hope more people will have a chance to see them.

Visit Plymouth Theatre History on Flickr.