Report - - The Palace Theatre - Swansea - April 2011 | Theatres and Cinemas | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - The Palace Theatre - Swansea - April 2011


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We first checked this out a year ago but decided it was better to leave it for another day when we were more prepared. This time we made it inside.. Access was fun and had a nice surprise for me.. (not for dweeb however! :p)

To be honest i was a little disappointed. I had seen pictures of the inside and knew it was a bit 'clubbed out' but i was hoping there would be a few more interesting 'hidden' bits than there was. The theatre is very small and almost every area was used by the club that operated in there. The gods is still quite good, with original benches in place and the original flys and lighting rig remains above the stage. Everything else was pretty un-interesting unfortunatly!

cinematreasures said:
The Pavilion Theatre of Varieties opened in 1888. It was designed by the architectural firm Bucknall & Jennings on a triangular site. The stage end being at the apex, which originally had a circular tower feature. There were two square towers at the other two corners. The exterior is built in brick, with plenty of stone features.

The auditorium is up stairs at first floor level, leaving the ground floor to house shop units and offices. Inside the auditorium there are two balconies, which have open iron balaustrades, the upper balcony still retains its original bench seating. The main orchestra floor is now leveled for use as a dancefloor.

The building was re-named Empire Theatre in 1892, then became the Palace Theatre of Varieties in 1901. At this time stars such as Charlie Chaplin, Lilly Langtry, Marie Lloyd and Dan Leno appeared on stage. By 1908, films were being screened as part of the variety bill and by 1912 it was known as the Swansea Popular Picture Hall and Peoples Palace. By 1923 it had reverted back to live theatre again and took the name Palace Theatre of Varieties for a second time.

In 1932 it was wired for sound and gradually went over to full time cinema use. Renamed the New Palace Cinema by 1937, it became the Palace Cinema until around 1954 when it went back to live shows as the Palace Theatre. Sir Anthony Hopkins made his first professional stage appearance here in 1960. By the early 1960's it became a bingo club, then by the 1970's a 'private' club. Closed in 1991 it then became a nightclub which has been through several ownerships. The building was 'For Sale' in July 2007.

The Palace Theatre is a Grade II listed building.








28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Nice one!
Pleasantly surprised to see a surviving 1930’s stage switchboard (grand master board) albeit with parts missing.
Was this on a platform high above the stage?