The thought of Middlesbrough being home to an opera house may seem unusual now but such buildings were a sign of the town’s rapid expansion during an industrial boom.
In 1900 a plot of land on the corner of Linthorpe Road and Southfield Road was set aside to build a Grand Opera House.
The theatre opened on December 7, 1903, with a performance of My Lady Mollie, which was a popular comic opera at the time.
The stage was 63ft wide and more than 40ft deep, more than enough to stage the most lavish of productions.
It could seat 2,600 people with room for 700 to stand.
It was totally refurbished internally and re-opened as the Gaumont Palace cinema on March 31, 1931, and then re-named the Gaumont Cinema in 1937.
The last film was shown on February 29, 1964, and then the old Gaumont closed down.
The building stood until January 1971 when it was demolished.
The land was vacant for a while until an office block was built on the site.
© Trinity Mirror North East