Wednesday, February 26, 2014

ABC Wednesday: G is for
Grand Theatre, Blackpool

The Grand Theatre in Blackpool is a Grade II* listed building.

It was designed for Thomas Sergenson by Frank Matcham, and built for £20,000 in just seven months between December 1893 and July 1894.

The three storey decorated stone corner entrance block rises to a domed roof of copper fishscale tiles surmounted by a cupola. The auditorium, with three double-curved balconies, features plaster decoration in a very ornate Baroque style, painted white and gold. The semi-circular proscenium arch is flanked by curved and decorated boxes. The painted ceiling is surrounded by panels with painted portrait medallions and garlands, and two large chandeliers hang from heavily moulded circular bosses.

A blue plaque on the Matcham Close side of the theatre reads:

(Grade II* Listed)

The leading Victorian theatre architect, Frank Matcham, was commissioned by Thomas Sergenson to build 'the best, prettiest and cosiest theatre possible' and the Grand was opened on July 23 1894.

In 1973 the theatre was saved from demolition at a public inquiry and, in 1977, was refurbished and opened as a bingo hall.

It was bought by the Grand Theatre Trust in 1980, reopened as a theatre on March 23 1981, and two months later was officially opened by the Prince of Wales at a Royal Variety Show.

This Listed Building is one of the finest examples of Matcham's work. The Grand Theatre Trust and the Friends of the Grand have endeavoured to ensure that 'the Glorious Grand' is preserved for posterity.

Kindly Donated by Friends of The Grand

A green plaque below the name sign Matcham Court above the Grand Theatre stage door celebrates theatre architect Frank Matcham (1854 - 1920) and was placed here by the Frank Matcham Society.

A contribution to ABC Wednesday and signs, signs.