Sort file:- Canterbury, July, 2020.

Page Updated:- Friday, 31 July, 2020.


Earliest 1984

Marlow Theatre

Open 2014+

The Friars


Marlow Theatre

Above shows the original Marlow Theatre December 1951. The old Marlow Theatre was in St. Margaret's Street and was built in 1927, originally as the Central Picture Theatre, but was demolished in 1982 to make way for the Marlow Arcade.

December 1969. The land around the old Marlow was used as an open-air car-park. This view looks across the junction of Gravel Walk with Rose Lane towards St. Margaret's Church, now the "Canterbury Tales." The rear of the Old Marlow is just visible left. This area also including the site of the "Royal Fountain Hotel."

Marlow Theatre 2000

Above photo August 2000 taken from

Marlow Thearte under construction

Marlow Theatre under construction.

Marlow Theatre 2012

Above showing the Marlow Theatre in 2012.


The first Marlowe Theatre was converted from the 1927 picture palace which was itself was the conversion an earlier theatre (possibly the Empire Music Hall?), which opened shortly before the 1913. The Central Picture Theatre was not hugely successful, and returned to use by amateur dramatics groups. In 1949 the city council purchased the building, and set about converting it to repertory theatre. The Marlowe Theatre, named after the city's Tudor playwright, Christopher Marlowe, opened in 1950. The theatre had a single balcony and seated 652. Entrance was via a jettied and gabled timber-framed frontage building with herringbone brick infill panels. Run by the council and later by an independent trust, the Marlowe Theatre became insolvent in 1981 and the theatre closed. The council decided to convert a cinema building on The Friars to a new theatre for the city - which opened in 1984 as the new Marlowe Theatre. The site of the first Marlowe Theatre is now the Marlowe Arcade. The timber framed building facing the street remains.

The Marlow shown in the second picture, dated August 2000 closed in March 2009 to be demolished and rebuilt, the new Marlow opened in 2011 with new bars and still serves beer today.

The old bars were called the Marlow Theatre Showbar and then the Marlow Theatre Cafe bar.

Their bars are always open to the public but mainly frequented by the theatre goers.





If anyone should have any further information, or indeed any pictures or photographs of the above licensed premises, please email:-