Wednesday, 12 October 2016


After a fire in 1907 at Queen’s Palace entertainment complex (the domed building above) the owning company dissolved having been unable to get a payout from the insurers who were unhappy about some of the circumstances.

The fire destroyed the dome and it fell to the east onto Queen's Arcade. (Some photos in circulation that purport to show the effect of the fire on Queen's Palace actually show damage to the arcade.)

Eventually the remainder of the complex began operating again under a renamed company involving some of the same directors. The ballroom part on the ground floor became a roller skating rink, and film shows (‘movies’) were introduced there. The theatre part upstairs on the first floor became renamed Grand Theatre.

Here is the front of a Grand Theatre programme from Thursday August 21st 1914, less than a month after the outbreak of WW1:
Click on it to see a clearer version.

. . . the other side . . .

Details of the play Broadway Jones are too faded to reproduce clearly. Geoffrey Saville appeared in the lead role. The producer Seymour Hicks had played lead himself in other venues including the Leeds Grand:

The Rhyl building was revamped, and re-opened in 1926. The Grand Theatre on the first floor was renamed Queen's Theatre, and the skating rink on the ground floor reverted to use for dancing under the name Queens Ballroom.

The following local advertisers are added here for indexing purposes:
Goldstraw, Wedgwood House, Dunning, Rhyl Journal, Garson Allen, Hubbards, Knutsford House, Madame Le Vere, Marlborough Hotel, Queens Hotel, F Thomas cycles, Ben Glass, Arcade Bazaar, E Robins, Foulkes Bar, Sussex Cafe, York House, Leinster House, Ferry Hotel Kinmel Bay, Hazel Grove House, Ferns apartments, Ivy House, Truscott.
X L Seed Co, Arnolds, Chester House, Geo J Mason, Hodges Chatsworth Cafe, Twillrane, Wadsworths, SPQR Stores, Philip Thomas, Avondale Restaurant, Marine Lake Fun Fair, Charlton boarding, Fells Bazaar, White Lion Hotel, Archie Wood.
Robins, J H Ellis, Owens butchers, Griffiths baker, E Beech, H Wilcock, Ernest R Clarke, Star Supply Stores, C H J E Lamb, J A Smalley.

FRI 3rd FEB 2017 UPDATE: Here is a rare photograph captioned Grand Theatre, Staff, Rhyl Oct,1912.

TUE 14th NOV 2017 UPDATE: Grand Theatre's canopy is just about visible on your left (after the signs 'Garage' and 'Hotel') on the following card postmarked 1918.

Note the muck-sweeper on your right. His was a very honourable chore; horse emissions were more useful and less harmful than car emissions!

Click on any image to see a bigger version.

THU 23rd AUG 2018 UPDATE: Grand Theatre's canopy is seen more clearly in this earlier pic of a Lifeboat Day, shall we say 1915?
On your right, the advert for Arthur Hart & Leslie Moreton's company in 'The Arcadians' refers to a show at the Grand, a touring version of an Edwardian musical comedy that had played for three years at Shaftesbury Theatre in London 1909-1912.

The lifeboat is Rhyl's tubular-style Caroline Richardson II which was on station 1897-1939.

MON 6th NOV 2018 UPDATE: Fans of style will dig the following advertising card for a touring version of  'A Little Bit Of Fluff' at Grand Theatre, Rhyl -

The card is undated but there is a clue on the reverse - 

'A Little Bit Of Fluff' ran at Criterion Theatre, London, from 1915 to 1918 and remained famous for decades. You can find information about it in Wikipedia:

The following names are added here for indexing purposes:
Herbert Jay promoter, Anthony Ellis promoter, Walter W. Ellis playwright.

TUE 25th DEC 2018 UPDATE: Grand Theatre on your left again in this World War 1 image of Denbighshire Hussars with their horses -