Charity No. 1136175


The present Heritage Centre is on the site of 2 earlier establishments. Originally the "New Inn" in 1868 the site became "The Royal Oxford Music Hall". The following year the building, which is situated a few doors down from the court house, became The Criterion public house, with a music hall called 'The Palace of Varieties' situated immediately to its rear. This offered "rational amusement for all classes" including in April 1876, a one armed juggler! In 1879 the earlier building was replaced with a brick built one.


The above paragraph is just a sampler of the history the Blue Town Heritage Centre and The Criterion Music Hall have waiting for you to discover for just £2 entry. Indeed there is so much waiting for you to discover here you'll be suprised what you didn't know!


The heritage centre itself is jam packed with items, memorabilia and artefacts so once you have absorbed all of the amazing feats of history our island was responsible for, why not relax in our comfortable cafe and enjoy our famous Cream Tea's.


The main space at the centre and our pride and joy is The Criterion.  After being damaged and falling into disrepair, following a German bombing raid in WW1, the room has now been lovingly restored over the past few years to its new found glory and continues its main purpose of entertaining the public once again with a wide variety of entertainments.


For more information call us on 01795 662981 or Email criteriontheatre@outlook.com


  • Open Thursday to Saturday 10am - 3pm and for events.

  • Entrance is £2.00 and children are free.

  • Entrance is free to "Friends", to become a "Friend" costs from just £5.00 a year, for this you receive information before it goes onto the website . For £10 single person or £15 per couple(living at the same address) the above plus invites to special "Friends" only events , both receive  a regular newsletter.

  • Our theatre 'The CRITERION' stages professional SEASONAL shows (2x Seasons per year), CINEMA Every Friday and THEATRE and LIVE MUSIC Shows, it is also available for your own Private Hire.

  • Why not celebrate your special occasion in our unique building, we can also provide the catering and bar facilities too.