One of the most historic spots in Manchester is undoubtedly The Rex Theatre located just east of Elm Street on Amherst Street.
The Rex Theatre opened under its original purpose in the mid-1800s as a printing press, serving the newly bustling city of Manchester as the explosion of the mill network began. The population more than quadrupled between 1840 and 1850, with a steady increase following for decades to come.
The location served as a pub for a short period of time after the printing business closed but the decline in the mill business saw the conversion of the space to The Rex Theatre in 1940, as an attempt to open businesses that could serve the community as a whole. Jill O’Dowd (mother-in-law to Diz) was one of the many Manchester residents who would arrive to The Rex Theatre on Wednesday nights to get her free plate to take home with her. A Manchester tradition that has been lost from the passing of time, locals would be able to take home a plate and continue to visit the theatre in hopes of collecting the whole set. Although a small item, the memories associated with partaking in this weekly event were some of the most memorable from Jill’s childhood, and the building block to many more memories, as the set was used as the family’s daily dinner plates up until 2015.
The plate you see to your left is an homage to memory, tradition, and history from one local Manchester native to all who come into Diz’s.