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UK The Grand Theatre, Doncaster - Aug 16

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Visited with @The Amateur Wanderer

 

Myself and @-Raz- have been looking at this place for months however we could never see a way in, and the reason for that is how you get in is something of a death trap... hmm. But one night me and Mike decided we were going for it so we readied up and in Frenchgate and went for it. After a quick struggle and the blur of about 40ft down we made it and had a very enjoyable visit.

 

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History;

 

The Grand was opened on the 27th March 1899. It started its life as a Circus Hall and then became the home of the Salvation Army, it was used for Political Speakers and eventually it was bought and turned into a theatre by a Mr J W Chapman, who at that time was the Lessee of the Old Theatre which stood in the Market Place. It was designed by J P Briggs and was built by a local firm of builders, Arnold & Sons. It was one of the first theatres in the country to have electric lights and also a sprinkler system installed. All staircases in the building are in stone as fire was a great hazard in those days. Many famous names trod the boards at the Grand including Charlie Chaplin, Max Miller, Henry Hall and his band with Betty Driver (who went on to play Betty Williams in Coronation Street), Julie Andrews and Morecambe & Wise.

 

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The Grand Theatres last stage production was Showboat in 1962 after which it was converted to a bingo hall. In the 1980s a ring road was built around the theatre and as a consequence a corner of the stage was chamfered. In 1995 the bingo closed and the theatre was due for demolition but was saved by the Friends of the Doncaster Grand Theatre along with Doncaster Civic Trust who succeeded in getting it statutory listed Grade II.

 

There have been fresh calls in recent years to re-open the Grand, but judging by the fact it's still slowly rotting away i guess this has failed.

 

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If you got this far, cheers for looking :thumb

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Superb, The entry is slightly less dodgy if you use the hatch below the first ladder which most people seem to miss lol. 

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This place has some lovely details left, really nice to see. Really like that door pediment. The style of decor is nice too, not garish like some I've seen. You've captured it perfectly :D 

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