There are two ways in which you can explore and experience the Grand Theatre’s architecture and history.
Join us on a historical journey through the Grade II* listed Grand Theatre on one of The Grand’s brand new Heritage Tours!
There is no theatre quite like The Grand. The published descriptions in 1894 said so, and contemporary theatregoers agree. It really is no wonder that the Grand Theatre is referred to as the ‘Hidden Gem of Blackpool’, with its long and lively history and reputation for being Frank Macham’s masterpiece.
On the Grand Theatre’s brand new Heritage Tours, you will be let in on the secrets and stories of the stunning Victorian theatre, learn about the flamboyant theatre architect Frank Matcham and explore the warren of staircases and hidden passages that lead to the dressing rooms, hidden quarters and beyond…
The Heritage Tours will give enthusiasts of architecture, theatre and history the opportunity to delve into areas not normally open or available to the general public and explore Blackpool’s hidden gem. Stand on the raked stage and observe the cantilevered tiers of circles, boxes and pit – and the complete visibility of every seat in the atmospheric house.
The Heritage Tours will be expertly led by experienced Grand Theatre archivists Geoff and Linda Tolson MBE. Through their informative and extensive tours, they will capture the atmosphere and charm of this beautiful old theatre and will take you on an unforgettable journey.
Geoff and Linda said, “With the Heritage Tours, you have the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of the stars on a magical mystery tour and explore the secrets of Blackpool’s hidden gem!”
Why not step back in time for the day and discover the beauty, architecture and history of the stunning Grand Theatre?
The Grand Theatre boasts a rich history, having been built by the leading Victorian architect Frank Matcham in 1894, and described by the first theatre manager Thomas Sergenson as ‘Matcham’s Masterpiece’. This title is even more merited now, as there are few surviving examples of the work of Frank Matcham. The theatre took just nine months to build and cost Sergenson £20,000, part of which he had earned by operating two small rented theatres and from a circus that he staged for five summer seasons on the site of The Grand.
Heritage Tours Tickets are £10.00 with concessions available.
You’ll find details of Heritage Tours and what else is on at The Grand here.
The other way you can experience the stunning architecture and history of the Grand Theatre is through Photographic Sessions led by internationally renowned photographer Sean Conboy.
The new Photographic Sessions are led by internationally acclaimed photographer, Sean Conboy. This unique masterclass will provide you with the skills needed to photograph beautiful structures and interiors.
Sean has photographed The Grand officially for many years and his work is regularly featured in all our media as well as many international magazines. With his visual awareness and extensive technical experience he will advise how you can best capture the perfect shot. You will then have the opportunity to take pictures of The Grand’s interior using Sean’s ‘top tips’ with your own cameras.
If you want to step further into the rich history of the Grand Theatre and delve deeper into its hidden architectural secrets and stories, then don’t wait to book for one of our Heritage Tours or Photographic Sessions.
Photographic Session Tickets are £35.00
You’ll find details of Photographic Sessions and what else is on at The Grand here
A little bit of a long heritage…
By the early 1960s theatres across Britain were closing due to loss of audience to television and in July 1972 the then owners, the Tower Company, applied for permission to demolish it. In its place they proposed to build a department store. By then, however, following an application to the Department of the Environment, the theatre had been listed as a Grade II* building and there had to be a full public enquiry.
Early in 1973 the Friends of the Grand was formed and after legal and financial wrangling, the Friends of the Grand, together with EMI and the local council, put together a deal involving leasing the theatre for £10,000 per annum and final purchase for £250,000.
In March 2011 the Grand celebrated its 30th Anniversary having re-opened on Wednesday 23rd March, 1981 with Timothy West and Prunella Scales in the Old Vic production of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.