Report - - The Queens Arcade, Rhyl - August 2021 | Leisure Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - The Queens Arcade, Rhyl - August 2021


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
August 2021

The Visit
Okay, so before I go any further with the report, let my say that I wasn't planning on posting this one up, as far as I am concerned I left it way too late. However I have seen I the question pop up in L&R a few times as to whether someone had managed to tick this one off, so here I go.

Some of my earliest memories of the Welsh seaside resort of Rhyl are visiting the Queens Arcade with my parents as part of regular day trips to the town, I remember being fascinated that this sprawling building that was once housed a Theatre had now been turned into an indoor market, the bizarre mixture of ornamental plaster and knockoff Adidas tracksuits was a wonderful experience. I can remember hearing that the queens was due to be demolished around the time that COVID restrictions were starting to ramp up, living on the other side of the Welsh boarder meant that I couldn't pay it a visit and by the time restrictions had been lifted I had forgotten all about it.

It wasn't until I was in the area for a few other locations that the Queens popped back into my head, so this was a bit of a spontaneous visit with @stranton, whilst @coolboyslim sulked in a nearby pub ;). We spent about 30 minutes wondering around the semi-demolished structure looking for any trace of the stunning interior that was once housed in this sprawling mess of a building. Unfortunately there were very few clues to the buildings past as a Theatre remaining with only what you can see in photo [8] remaining of the original plaster.



The History
On the 1st August 1902 the Queens Palace Theatre was opened, the Theatre was a magnificent four story building which incorporated basement waterways complete with a goldola attraction that imitated Venice. A huge glass dome topped the building affording views across the Irish coastline as well as the Snowdon mountain range and the Isle of Man. Unfortunately this building was destroyed by fire on the 27th November 1907, eventually being rebuilt in 1911 when it was advertised as the Queens Theatre when showing variety and revues and the Queens Picture Theatre when showing films. From 1914 to 1918 it was known as the Picturedrome when showing films, which would suggest that John Codman was involved at some stage up to his bankruptcy in 1915. By 1919 the names had changed again to the Futurist Picture House for films and the Grand Theatre for variety. Film shows were three times a day at prices from 5d to 1/3d. There was seating for 1,270 patrons and the proscenium was 18 feet wide.

Rhyl Entertainments Limited took control in 1926 and the name reverted to the Queens Theatre. In 1930 a British Talking Pictures sound system was installed which was the first in Rhyl and "Showboat" with Laura La Plante followed by "The Jazz Singer" became the first talking pictures shown in North Wales. In 1931 architect Sidney Colwyn Foulkes was employed to re-design the interior and when the venue re-opened on the 6th March 1933 it was as a 1,270 seater theatre/cinema with an 8 metre wide proscenium, and a stage 8.5 metres deep with 8 dressing rooms for the artists and a cafe was provided for the convenience of patrons. Films were now shown during the winter and in the summer variety and revues held sway. The venue now held a licence for shows on Sundays - the first venue in North Wales to hold such. Films were shown continuous from 6pm with daily matinees at 2.30pm and programmes changed twice weekly. Cinemascope was installed in 1956, but audiences were declining and the venue closed on the 4th April 1960 after the amateur revue "Triple Decker Revue".

Overtime visitor number to the Theatre began to decline with the venue eventually closing, shortly after this the vast indoor spaces were converted into an indoor market which operated in various states until 2019 when the last section was closed to visitors. In 2019 the site was purchased by Denbighshire County Council who have invested £5m into buying the Queen’s Market building and former Savoy Hotel which neighbours the property to the West. Demolition work began in early 2021 and was eventually completed in September of the same year. The site currently sits empty but plans have been unveiled by Denbighshire Council to construct a new glass monstrosity housing the soulless brands that you can find on any high street in the UK.

The Photos
GRONK Queens Arcade.001.jpeg


GRONK Queens Arcade.002.jpeg

[2] - Queens Amusements

GRONK Queens Arcade.003.jpeg

[3] - Queens Amusements

GRONK Queens Arcade.004.jpeg

[4] - A corridor between the Queens Amusements and the Fusion Nightclub which was used to access the market.

GRONK Queens Arcade.005.jpeg

[5] - The Fusion Nightclub

GRONK Queens Arcade.006.jpeg

[6] - Market Hall

GRONK Queens Arcade.007.jpeg

[7] - Market Hall

GRONK Queens Arcade.008.jpeg

[8] - The 'remains' of the Queens Amusements first floor.

GRONK Queens Arcade.009.jpeg

[9] - Market Hall

Cheers for looking :thumb
Canon EOS 70D, 10-18mm EFS



Mr Reality Hacker
28DL Full Member
At least ya posted it. Maybe if them tunnels really where there it could have been one in a million. Well people know what's there now and pictures decent. Good stuff