Hippodrome Theatre | Derby | Investigation

When Simon told me he was exploring the Hippodrome Theatre in Derbyshire last week, my first thoughts was it wouldnt be a ideal place for a investigation.

I don’t believe every abandoned building is haunted and for us to visit, there has to be a good reason to why we go and investigate it for a haunting. I would not advise a visit, it is extremely dangerous.

History

The Derby Hippodrome is a Grade II-listed variety theatre built in 1914. The roofless building, now covered in plants, is a rare example from the period of a variety theatre built for both live theatre and cinema. Designed by architects Marshall & Tweedy of Newcastle upon Tyne, the Hippodrome had an elaborate first-floor foyer, lounges and an elegant dress circle balcony.

Famous acts such as Gracie Fields and George Formby played here, until the building was converted into a cinema in 1930. It served as a filmhouse for 20 years until a live theatre programme was reintroduced in 1950, with Shirley Bassey and Benny Hill among those to tread the boards. But it shut nine years later after bosses deemed the theatre no longer financially viable and was sold and converted into a bingo hall in 1962.

The Hippodrome was given Grade II-listed status in 1996, largely for its decorative plasterwork, but the bingo hall closed in 2007. The theatre fell victim to arson and vandalism and suffered substantial damage in 2008 when the then-owner carried out repair works, including removing the roof which left it exposed to the elements. The Derby Hippodrome Restoration Trust is now seeking to restore the building and return it to its former glory.

My reasons for not wanting to investigate here was that I didn’t think the history of the location would have suggested a haunting could be here, so how suprised was I when Simon sent me the footage of explore, to find what I would call a AVP lurking on there – a AVP is a audio voice phonemonia.

Upon asking him he said he wasn’t sure what it was but because there was a road not too far away he couldn’t rule of the possibly that it may have been outside comtamination. The little voice I had heard on review intrigued me because throughout the rest of the footage the only outside noise I could hear was a aeroplane so, I suggested to the team we go for a night investigation.

Video of Simons Explore and History of the Location :

Our investigation

Investigators: Charlene Lowe Kemp, Amiee Sirdifield, Simon Wilson, Chrissie Rising and Darren Miller.

Upon entrying the theatre, Darren thought he saw a face appearing from the top tier window. Chrissie immediately felt a women presence and proceeded to say she seen her as a dancer, in her 20s and was given the letters S H. She then mentioned it may be a name ‘Sharon’, but felt that name didn’t fit with the time of the theatre.

Gina Marshall, who looks up history for us, stated on during our live investigation that a dancer by the names of Sharon Ula did used to preform here. Here below is a picture of Sharon:

A caretaker like presence was also picked up on and the name Geroge assiocated. There was a stage manager at one point by the name of Geroge, who sadly passed while on military duty, Here is a newspaper clipping announcing his death:

However, Gina reported she could not find any documented deaths here.

Other Experiences:
Darren seen balls of lights with his eyes, we heard banging of doors from above (but no doors are present on the above floor), the rem pod triggered once very quickly. There were taps and bangs around us and at one point towards the end of the Facebook live, Simon was walking and we all earn what sounded like a walkie talkie go off, we are sure if this was outside contamination or not, id personally say not because it sounded as if it came from where Simon was stood.

Conclusion

I have visited and investigated quite a few theatres over the years, but this one is quite mesmerizing, at times it felt like you could have been witnessing small moments in previous years. The location, makes you want to stop in your tracks, sit quietly and listen to your surroundings.  If you would like to watch our full investigation here, video can be viewed

 image credit: Rachel Gerrard

 

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