Blackpool Grand Theatre
December 3, 2010 at 11:42 am
Designed by Frank Matcham, the theatrical architect who also came up with the blueprint of the Grand Opera House in Belfast, the Blackpool Grand Theatre was officially open on 23 July, 1894. The man in charge of financing the whole project was Thomas Sergenson, who was billed to be the first theatrical manager to enjoy great fortune in Blackpool. Back in the days, the site was used for circus events and the Grand Theatre is one of the main local attractions for anyone stepping on Blackpool today. Going all the way back to 1972, it was the crucial period for Blackpool Grand Theatre, as there were numerous plans to demolish it due to the increasing popularity of television in post-war Britain. Thanks to a group of supporters who fought for the theatre to be registered as Grade II building, the historical site was renovated and allowed to thrive as a venue for bingo. Subsequently, the entire Grand Theatre was acquired by the loyal group in 1980, and further refurbishment was carried out before it was officially open again as a functioning theatre on March 1981. The opening performance was “the Merchant of Venice” by William Shakespeare, and a Royal Variety Performance held in May 1981 stemmed the revival of the Grand Theatre. The group responsible for the longevity of the theatre is affectionately known as the Friends of the Grand, and is an organization today involved in fund-raising efforts and voluntary works. With the great vision of popularizing performing arts, ranging from stage drama, musical, pantomime to opera and dance, the Blackpool Grand Theatre is marketing itself to be the National Theatre of Variety. Various events are being held all years round in the theatre, with the most recent one in November 2010, featuring Stewart Francis, a famous stand-up comedian from Canada. What makes the Grand Theatre stand out is the grand auditorium, magnificently drawn up and constructed with balconies encompassing in the form of dual curve towards the stage. The entire theatre is capable of housing 1100 people at once, amplifying the festive ambience when the time to party has arrived. If you are travelling as a big group to check out the fabulous venue and wish to have a pleasant tour, you can make booking of group tickets in advance. Discounts will be generously offered for all programmes, including dining costs in local restaurants and cafes. What’s more, the Blackpool Grand Theatre will be assigning a dedicated staff as your coordinator to your group when you arrive at the place.