The Riley-Smith Hall was commissioned by William Riley-Smith, Director of John Smith’s Brewery, just after World War I as a memorial hall for those who lost their lives during the Great War. The hall, which opened in 1924, continued under the ownership of John Smith’s Brewery until 1992 when it was acquired by the Riley-Smith Hall Charitable Company.
Since 1992 the charity has carried out essential maintenance to the hall, whilst preserving all its original features, so that it provides the highest quality entertainment space. The hall retains its original “Valtor” sprung ballroom floor, tiered spectator balcony, licensed bar, stage, orchestra pit and four dressing rooms. The main hall has a capacity of 362 when arrange for concerts. On the first floor is the Supper Room and Green Room – two function rooms able to accommodate 100 and 15 people respectively.
Regular events include ballroom, modern jive classes, Cuban salsa, rock ‘n’ roll and freestyle dances, zumba, a children’s dance academy, a children’s theatre group, karate classes, toddler band and ballet classes, and a venue for choir rehearsals.
Feature events are advertised on the website and typically include amateur musical theatre shows, pantomimes, musical concerts plus monthly themed dance nights.
The hall is available to hire for a whole range of purposes including musical concerts, theatre, dances, meetings, rehearsals, exhibitions and weddings.