The Palladium

Link to French translation

The Palladium, Gloddaeth Street, Llandudno

Photo of Palladium Theatre, Llandudno, in 1920sPhoto of dress circle at Palladium, Llandudno

The Palladium Theatre was built in 1920. It replaced Llandudno’s first market hall, which was built on the site by the Llandudno Market Company in 1864.

The Palladium was initially built “to carry on the business of kinematograph hall, theatre, music hall, opera house, circus and entertainment proprietors etc”. Kinematograph was an early name for film.

The early photo of the Palladium (left) was taken in the 1920s and clearly shows the domes above the entrance. The building was designed by Arthur Hewitt, whose other works in Llandudno include Clare’s Department Store and the Washington Hotel (which also features a dome). He was a Llandudno councillor and, in the Second World War, a Home Guard commanding officer.

The theatre had 1,500 seats in the stalls and two balconies. It had its own orchestra, offering a blend of drama, variety, musical comedy and ballet. One the stars who performed here was Gracie Fields (1898-1979), who grew up in Rochdale. She was a famous singer and actress, making the transition from music hall to cinema films and television.

For many years after the Second World War the Palladium functioned principally as a cinema. In 1972 it was split, with a bingo hall occupying the stalls area and a 600-seat cinema above. The photo on the left shows the dress circle during the cinema era.

In 2001 the building was converted by Wetherspoons into a cavernous pub which still retains many of the original features of the theatre.

With thanks to John Lawson-Reay, of Llandudno & Colwyn Bay History Society

Postcode: LL30 2DD    View Location Map

Website of The Palladium (JD Wetherspoon)

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