The Theatre continued to decline, becoming so filthy, damaged and strewn with rubbish that the Proprietors were keen to sell it to avoid further financial losses.
Douglas Millar took on management of the Theatre in 1924, and bought it from the Proprietors for £8,500 in 1925. He had it cleaned, rewired and re-seated. Keen to increase leg-room for the audience, he also replaced the front rows of benches in the pit with three rows of stalls.
Aware of the unorthodox taste of Bristol audiences, Millar allowed local theatre-goers to vote for the type of performances they’d like to see at the Theatre. Patrons were given the choice of once or twice nightly dramas, comedies, musical comedies or revues; drama once a night won.
Following years of mixed reception, Millar gave the Theatre up in 1931, disappointed at Bristol’s preference for melodrama over serious theatre.