Grand Theatre

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There have been a number of venues called the Grand Theatre over the years.

The Grand Theatre, Benoni (redesigned 1916)

Redisigned by Percy Rogers Cooke for Schlesinger in 1916.

The Grand Theatre, Bloemfontein (1906)

A Victorian horsehoe shaped theatre, it was housed in the Grand Hotel in Hanger Street, near the Bloemfontein station. The theatre had long facade in what was then known as the modern French Renaissance style, three storeys high and crowned with three domes. Inside there was a 170 foot lobby, sliding roof, 900 seats and one of largest stages in SA.

The venue opened on Monday, 19 February 1906 with The Mikado (Gilbert & Sullivan). For 50 years world renowned artists appeared here, also local groups and travelling companies with musicals and other shows. For example Paul de Groot's groundbreaking Afrikaans production of Oorskotjie was done there in 1926, Viennese tenor Richard Tauber performed there in 1939, *****.

Converted during the 1920s to also show films, it became a bio-vaudeville house, doubling as theatre and bioscope for the next 30 years. By the 1950s it had basically become a delapidated a venue for films only and was sold to SA Breweries in 1953. It stood empty for the next few years, till it was condemned and demolished in 1956. (AW)

The Grand Theatre, Port Elizabeth (1912)

The Grand Theatre in Main Street opened on May 14, 1912. It was designed by Victor Jones and owned by the Grand Theatre Company. It could seat 1100 patrons. The first manager was T A Brewster. On September 2, the Grand Cafe was opened on the second floor with a view of Main Street. The final performance was on July 16, 1974, after which it was demolished.

The Grand Theatre, Pietermaritzburg (1931)

The Grand Theatre, George ()

The Grand Theatre, Cape Town ()

The Grand Bioscope, Cape Town ()


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