Opened on Boxing Day 1912 as His Majesty’s Theatre or simply as ‘Fullers’, St James was built for Messrs John Fuller and Sons, a successful vaudeville and variety theatre company. The building was designed by Henry White and took only nine months of construction to complete! The company focussed on performances such as slapstick comedians, balladeers, jugglers, acrobats, tumblers, and dancers, which were all extremely popular through to the 1930s.
In 1926 the theatre had a series of major alterations carried out, with the addition of new floors in the top eastern end of the fly tower to the designs of S and A Luttrell. Three floors of offices were added which housed the offices of John Fuller and Sons.
In 1930 the theatre closed as a live performance venue to be rewired for sound. When it reopened (which happened almost immediately) it was renamed the St James, and the theatre was able to play its first movie with sound (and Technicolour!) – The Warner Brothers’ ‘The Gold Diggers of Broadway’.