Former Majestic Ballroom
The Café Royal and the Majestic Ballroom were the jewel in the crown of the Payne’s family catering business in Llandudno, owned by Arthur Payne. In 1914, when it was then just the Dorothy Cafe, this building served as the recruiting depot for the 15th (1st London Welsh) Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers (then known as the Royal Welch Fusiliers) during its raising and training of soldiers for the First World War.
After the war it had its own eight-piece orchestra, which played for the morning coffee drinkers and for the dancers in the evening. It was a popular place for socialising. The ballroom, with sprung floor, and café were designed in the Art Deco style by local architect Arthur Hewett in about 1925. The decorative features still survive. The graceful stairs behind the bandstand lead to the oval balcony, which gave the diners a bird’s eye view of the dancers below. A cool drink from the American Soda fountain was very popular, as were cakes and buns from the confectionery shop.
Today the building is home to the Llandudno branch of clothing retailer Peacocks.
Footnotes: Personal recollections of the ballroom
With thanks to John Lawson-Reay, of the Llandudno & Colwyn Bay History Society
Postcode: LL30 2SB