Grand Theatre

Mostyn Broadway,
Llandudno, LL30 1YR

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Grand Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Grand Theatre is situated in Mostyn Broadway, a little out of the town centre, which runs parallel with the promenade. It is a large free standing buidling and was opened on Bank Holiday Monday, August 5th 1901 under the direction of Mr Milton Bode, one of the best known managers in the theatre world.

The architect was George Humphries of the Mostyn Estate with Edwin Sachs as consultant. Built with a red brick facade topped by low semi-octagonal towers, the theatre seated 1,000, with two well curved balconies with eight rows of seats each and two boxes at either side of the first balcony and one box above. The boxes are divided by slim colonettes. A segmental arch with lattice decoration spans the auditorium above while the saucer dome ceiling has a plaster sunburst around a central rose. Plaster work on the proscenium, boxes and balcony fronts is of scrolls, festoons and musical instruments.

The Grand Theatre was primarily a play house, but musical comedies were also part of the staple diet. In the late 1920’s, the theatre was fitted with a British Accoustic sound system and films were screened for several years, complementing the stage productions.

In 1957 the Grand Theatre was taken over by John Creese Parsons, who had moved to Llandudno from the West Midlands in the 1940’s and took up farming. He later sold the farm land and bought the Grand Theatre. For the next twenty years he produced a series of muscial comedies and plays. The Agatha Christie murder mysteries were very popular at the Grand with both the holiday makers and local theatregoers alike.

The theatre struggled on to the late-1970’s and when John Creese Parsons died in 1984, his brother in law Mr Jeff Duckenfield became the Managing Director. He tried very hard to get funding to reopen the Grand, either as a theatre or as an entertainment centre, but with the local council committed to the new North Wales Theatre scheme on the promenade (Venue Cymru), the money was not forthcoming and now the Grand Theatre is a night club.

This is a great shame as a refurbished Grand Theatre could still be run to compliment the new theatre, to present plays and the smaller touring companies, as the new theatre is too large for that kind of entertainment. For over 80 years an unusual sight was the stage tower of the Grand backing on to the stage tower of Will Catlins Arcadia Theatre, situated on the promenade. The Arcadia Theatre was demolished in the 1980’s to make way for the new North Wales Theatre.

The Grand Theatre must be the best surviving traditional theatre building left in North Wales and is a Grade II* Listed building.

Contributed by Richard Roper (abcman)

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

davellandudno
davellandudno on February 28, 2010 at 2:32 pm

A full photographic tour of the Grand Theatre in 2010 can be seen here:
View link

Doolally
Doolally on August 8, 2013 at 11:14 pm

Currently For Sale, as a going concern for £750k!

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