Colne Operatic Society was formed in 1947, after a two year gap following the end of World War 2 in 1945, from the Society which before the war had been known as Colne Vocal Harmonists.
Colne Vocal Harmonists had presented Musical Dramas set in and around the local area with titles such as ‘Monkroyd', ‘Walverden' and ‘Grassington' which had been written by local musician and writer Frank Salter.
The new Colne Operatic Society began its programme with ‘Merrie England ' by Edward German presented at the Municipal Hall, Colne in the last week of February 1947. Admission prices in pre-decimal money ranged from 1/- in the pit to 5/- in the balcony with souvenir programmes priced at 6d.
Since that first show the society has presented at least one and more recently two productions each year which in the early period were mainly the Operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan.
The Society continued to perform at the Municipal Hall in Colne with rehearsals being held in the now demolished Clarendon Rooms situated above the Co-op Garage in Barrowford Road, Colne.
Cast and chorus rehearsed the music and dancing until four weeks before the production date when a professional (paid) Producer arrived from London to direct the entire cast and set the scenes to give the final overall polished performance. This involved rehearsals on at least four night each week and afternoons and evenings on Sunday with no excuses for absence being accepted.
These London producers were accommodated for this period in the best hotels in the area which obviously incurred a significant cost and this practice continued until1963 when talented locally based producers became the norm.
In June 1978 the Society entered into partnership with two other local operatic societies, St John's and Great Marsden Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society and the Freelance Society, to purchase and refurbish our wonderful home the Pendle Hippodrome Theatre which opened to the public in December of 1986.
In October 2007, after 60 years performing musicals for the people of Colne, Colne Operatic Society merged with the other remaining local operatic society St John's . Together they formed the Pendle Hippodrome Theatre Company, and look forward to many more years performing to the audiences at the Pendle Hippodrome Theatre.