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Menu board From the Palace Cafe, Douglas

Date made: 20th century

Maker: Unknown

Description: A menu board from the Palace Cafe, Douglas. There were actually two cafes within the Palace complex, such was its size. After a fire in 1902, the old Palace Opera House was rebuilt, so that it seated an astonishing 3,500 people. This part was known as the Coliseum, and was opened by Vesta Tilley on 21 July, 1913. The adjacent ballroom was the largest in Europe, and a review of the time noted: "Two spacious and elegant cafe lounges, one for the dress circle and the other for the pit and orchestra stalls, constitute a valuable easement to the premises; and the convenience of the audience is largely augmented by the covered way which, by means of a bridge, provides a communication between the grand Pavilion and the Coliseum. This enables patrons to proceed from the ballroom to the Coliseum, and vice versa, without going into the open."

The menu board is made of wood, painted white with black lettering.

An interesting aspect of this object, and others like it, is the fact that prices were permanently painted on the board, with no easy means of amending them. This is a reflection of a long period of price stability in the early years of the 20th century leading up to the First World War.

Measurements: overall: 180 cm x 60 cm

Materials: paint/oil, wood: pine

Object name: menu board

Collection: Social History Collection

ID Number: 2010-0043


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