The Grand Opera House front entrance in 2008.
The Grand Opera House is a theatre in York, England. It is currently operated as part of the Ambassador Theatre Group. It plays host to touring productions of plays, musicals, opera and ballet, one-off performances by comedians, and other theatrical and musical events. The theatre has been designated a Grade II listed building by English Heritage.
The Grand Opera House was not originally built as a theatre. It was a conversion of two buildings, one a warehouse, the other a corn exchange designed by G. A. Dean in 1868. The architect, Mr J. P. Briggs of London, was commissioned to perform the conversion, which took three months and cost £24,000. The theatre opened as the Grand Theatre and Opera House on 20 January 1902 with a performance of a pantomime (Little Red Riding Hood), starring Florrie Forde.
- 17 July 1902: the first public performances of films in York. Professor Herbert's animated pictures displayed in his 'Biograph Box' The showing of films at the venue became a permanent feature from 1903-1916.
- 1903: the theatre was renamed as the Opera House and Empire Theatre. This was an economic move to attract a mass audience, as smoking was not permitted in high-class theatres but was in music hall type venues; smoking was very fashionable at this time.
- 1909: a major redecoration of the building was undertaken.
- 1916: the theatre was now known as the Empire Theatre.
- 1958: Ernest Shepherd of the Shambles bought the theatre, now called the S. S. Empire [Shepherd of Shambles]. The stage and the rake to the stalls floor were removed to give a level surface for roller skating, bingo and wrestling bouts. The theatre remained in this configuration until 1985 when it closed for business.
- 1987: the property was purchased by the India Pru Company Ltd. who renovated the building and restored the decor to its 1909 Art Nouveau style.
- September 26, 1989: the theatre reopened as the Grand Opera House with a performance of Macbeth. After two years with mounting debts the theatre suddenly closed without warning.
- 26 February 1993: the theatre reopened again, retaining the name of the Grand Opera House.
|London West End Theatres|
- Aylesbury Waterside Theatre
- Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham
- Bristol Hippodrome
- Churchill Theatre, Bromley
- Edinburgh Playhouse
- Grimsby Auditorium
- King's Theatre, Glasgow
- Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone
- Liverpool Empire Theatre
- Manchester Opera House
- Manchester Palace Theatre
- Milton Keynes Theatre
- New Victoria Theatre, Woking
- New Theatre Oxford
- OFS Studio, Oxford
- Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent
- Rhoda McGaw Theatre, Woking
- Richmond Theatre
- Sunderland Empire
- Southport Theatre
- Spa Pavillion, Felixstowe
- Theatre Royal, Brighton
- Theatre Royal, Glasgow
- Victoria Hall, Stoke on Trent
- New Wimbledon Theatre
- Wimbledon Studio
- York Grand Opera House
- Ambassadors Cinema, Woking
Coordinates: 53°57′26″N 1°04′55″W / 53.95726°N 1.08186°W