IT is one of the most famous buildings in town.

And whether you are 18 or 80, you will recognise it.

But for those generations of readers, the large building on the corner of Academy Way and Friars Gate will mean very different things.

This it the Hippodrome, or perhaps the Palace Cinema and even Showbar.

For more than 100 years, this has been the heart of entertainment in Warrington being home to a theatre, cinema, bingo hall and most recently a nightclub.

Most of its history and that of some of Warrington’s most famous buildings are featured in a book on the history of the town.

Popular author Janice Hayes has published Warrington in 50 Buildings, celebrating some of the most iconic buildings still standing in the town.

Younger audiences will recognise this building on Academy Way as Showbar.

But older readers will remember it as the Hippodrome in this picture, right.

Built in the heyday of variety theatre, the foundation stone was laid in 1907 and was built for an audience of 2,100.

Constructed at a cost of £15,000, the Warrington Guardian declared ‘it would be difficult to conceive of a more comfortable and inviting place of entertainment than the latest addition to our local places of amusement’.

Its life included stints as a music hall, cinema, theatre and bingo hall before becoming a nightclub in more recent times.

It was later known as the Palace Cinema, and that has been its longest use.

It underwent a change from a theatre in 1931 when it became the Palace Cinema until 1964, afterwards it operated as a bingo hall, Surewin then the Apollo.

Keeping up with modern trends, it changed to a nightclub in the 1990s first as Brannigans and now Showbar.

But its original use it still visible.

Most of the theatre is hidden away behind false doors and ceilings.

Although calls for it to be converted into a theatre once more have fallen on deaf ears.