Maison de Danse, Yarm Lane, Stockton (Demolished)

The Theatre Royal, situated on Yarm Lane, Stockton, was destroyed by fire on 28th August 1906. A roller-skating rink was built on the site and, trading as the Royal, provided space for this very fashionable pursuit at least until 1919.  During the First World War the building was also used as a drill hall.  Sometime in the 1920s the venue became the Maison de Danse, and its popularity followed the craze first for jazz dancing, then for ballroom, which continued throughout the 1930s, 40s and 50s.  Maison de Danse filed for liquidation in March 1966[1] and the building was eventually demolished in 1969.[2]

The Maison de Danse was a recognisably ‘modern’ albeit functional building, which provided the large open space required for skating, dancing and/or marching.  The vaguely Art Deco facade and the sans serif lettering on its fascia (not to mention its French name) served as advertisement and magnet, promising an exciting, up-to-the-minute leisure experience.  This building type never attracted the numbers and investment that the contemporary cinemas did, but provided a very popular alternative, and the Maison de Danse had a number of local competitors to deal with throughout its lifespan.

According to the National Jazz Archive, when bandleader Jack Marwood retired in 1966 he had been performing at the Maison de Danse for forty-four years.

 

[1] The London Gazette, 13 April, 1966

[1] Robin Cook, Stockton on Tees Through Time

[1] The London Gazette, 13 April, 1966

[2] Robin Cook, Stockton on Tees Through Time