Friday, 3 May 2013

Showbiz at the old Corn Exchange Hall.

The Corn Exchange Hall was built in 1855 for the local farmers to carry out various corn transactions. After a time the farmers used it less and less, preferring to be in the Market Place, so the Hall was then used for many purposes, including auctions, concerts and dancing until Harry Fountain became the owner in 1900 when it became a theatre and had variety turns and was known as the Palace Theatre.

The Corn Exchange, built originally for farmers transactions.
In about 1907 Mr. Fountain went into partnership with Mr. Holly Thomas (a chemist and mineral water manufacturer) and they ran it for one year as a roller skating rink which, surprisingly, did not pay and Mr. Thomas drew out.

The Corn Exchange is the building with the large circle on it, behind this row of buildings in the Market Place.
Mr. Fountain then had the floor sloped and seats installed and ran it as a proper theatre. He employed a manager named Maurice Safrini who came from Hull and lodged at the Borough Arms pub in High Street, Boston.
This went on until about 1910 or 1912 when George Aspland Howden left his father, Ben Howden, with their travelling Bioscope Show and Gondolas. He wished to open and run Boston's first silent cinema, and its name was then changed to the New Theatre and later to the New Electric Theatre.

The opening on the right led to the Corn Exchange Hall.
Mr. Fountain still held an interest in the place, he dealt with the professional artistes travelling vouchers, weekly from the Corn Exchange Hotel which took its name in 1855 from the Hall.

The Corn Exchange Hotel, two doors away from the opening shown in the above picture.


  1. First known as the New Electric Theatre, and later renamed New Theatre. It opening date took place on Thursday 22nd December 1910.

    1. It then run on entertaining patrons of Boston until closing in 1960, and was demolished with Marks and Spencer store built on the site.

  2. My Nan, Annie Harriet Aspland was illegitimate daughter of George Aspland's son...she was raised as a Bell, her Aunts Family,.....Her mother was an usherette at the Theatre.Nan was born 1911....