Former Grand Theatre, Llandudno

button-theme-evacLink to French translationFormer Grand Theatre, Mostyn Broadway, Llandudno

image of grand theatre stage

The Grand Theatre was mainly the work of the world-famous Edwardian theatre designer Edwin O Sachs. It was opened on bank holiday 5 August 1901, seating 1,100 in three tiers. It has been described as a West End theatre in miniature.

An architectural/historical survey of every surviving pre-1914 theatre in Britain rated the importance of the Grand alongside London’s top West End playhouses. The main fabric of the theatre remains intact. In particular, the under-stage equipment is a particularly rare survival.

Matching the well-established Llandudno musical tradition, the Grand recruited a good full-time orchestra. It stayed open all year with a mixture of repertory and light variety. A season of grand opera was staged in 1926 and George Formby performed here in 1925.

photo_of_play_at_grand_theatre

Its greatest days were in the 1940s during the Second World War. The BBC took over the theatre for its Variety Department, which was evacuated here and to Bangor. Popular radio shows were broadcast from here.

The BBC Theatre Organ was evacuated to the Grand from London early in 1941 and was played for hour upon hour during the early part of the war to fill up radio airtime!

The Grand closed in 1980. The building reopened in 1987 as the Broadway Boulevard nightclub. The club closed in June 2013, leaving the building’s future uncertain, but the club reopened in 2016.

FOOTNOTES: Personal recollections

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

Postcode: LL30 1YR    View Location Map

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