Grand Theatre

Park Street,
Walsall, WS1

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The Grand and Her Majesties Theatres

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Located on the corner of Park Street and Station Street. The Grand Theatre was built in 1890 on the site of the Alexandra Theatre (later Gaiety Theatre). Designed as a variety theatre by Birmingham architect Daniel Arkell, it had a highly decorated facade. Seating was provided in the auditorium in orchestra stalls, circle and gallery levels.

It was converted into a cinema on 4th November 1912 with "The Mysteries of Paris", and was soon renamed Grand Picture House. It presented variety turns as well as films, and even an occasional play was performed in the late 1920’s. Closed briefly for the installation of sound equipment it re-opened as the Grand Talkie Theatre on 15th June 1931 with Maureen O'Sullivan in "Just Imagine".

It was taken over by the Associated British Cinemas(ABC) chain in April 1936 and served as their ‘temporary’ cinema while the old Her Majesty’s Theatre was being demolished and the new Savoy Cinema was being built. The Grand Cinema was closed on 1st October 1938 with Victor McLaglen in "Sea Devils". The new Savoy Cinema opened two days later.

The Grand Theatre became a live theatre once again, operated by Pat Collins Jr. as a music hall theatre. But it was a short lived venture as the building was destroyed by a fire in June 1939.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on November 23, 2010 at 7:40 am

An illustrated programme showing a drawing of the Grand Theatre:
View link

Mike_Blakemore
Mike_Blakemore on October 15, 2011 at 9:41 am

The Grand Theatre was owned by “The Walsall Theatre Co, Ltd., Fronted by W. Westwood… Prior to selling to Associated British Cinemas… ABC had to buy all of the 4 Theatres or NONE… They only wanted Her Majesties..

Mike_Blakemore
Mike_Blakemore on May 15, 2012 at 7:32 am

Have loaded the original Alexandra >>> Gaiety Theatre Picture. Note how plain the original Theatre was…

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