Blackpool Grand Theatre, 33 Church Street, Blackpool, FY1 1HT – Visit Now
It is over 125 years since the Blackpool Grand Theatre opened with a production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Designed by Frank Matcham, the leading theatre architect of the day, the now Grade II listed building has played host to the likes of Winston Churchill, James Mason and Noel Coward in the years since its 1894 opening. Those intervening years have seen multiple restorations and refurbishments, and even a short stint as a bingo hall, but today the ornate theatre sits as a bonafide Blackpool institution, playing a central role in the town’s live performing arts scene.
In terms of space, The Grand Theatre boasts an opulent one thousand capacity auditorium alongside a smaller Studio theatre. Today’s theatre-goers can expect to find an expansive programme featuring everything from touring musical and drama performances to classical and family shows. There are also regular performances from some of the country’s biggest names in stand up comedy, alongside dance — including ballroom — and physical theatre shows. Plus, as you’d expect from any self-respecting Blackpool theatre, there’s a popular pantomime every December.
Matcham designed or reconstructed over 160 theatres across the British Isles, but the Blackpool Grand has been called his masterpiece
Architect Frank Matcham designed or reconstructed over 160 theatres across the British Isles, but the Blackpool Grand has been called his masterpiece. Only 24 of these remain intact, with Blackpool representing one of the most complete surviving example of the architect’s vibrant and eclectic style. Indeed, modern day visitors still marvel at the evocative performance spaces, domed copper roof and detailed stonework.
In addition to hosting live events for the public, individuals and private institutions can utilise the impressive facilities on offer. Perfect for awards shows or dinners, both theatres are available to hire, while there are also a number of meeting rooms available, including the oak-beamed boardroom style library, which comes fully equipped with video conferencing and catering facilities.