Express & Star

Wolverhampton Grand at 125: Theatre fans loved £1m facelift

There was a huge response from theatre fans when the Grand Theatre opened its doors to the public for the first time in three years.

Mary Arch, from Stowheath Lane, Wolverhampton, at the open day with her daughter Kathryn, 21, in 1983

Since the curtain fell for the last time in February 1980, the much-loved Wolverhampton theatre had been given a £1 million facelift.

An open day was held at the venue so that people could view the refurbished auditorium, which had been restored to its original Victorian colour scheme.

Queues of people waited in Lichfield Street while the Mayor of Wolverhampton, Councillor Chris Laws, and fellow civic dignitaries toured the building.

People excitedly poured in as soon as the doors opened and theatre staff took hundreds on guided tours.

One of the visitors was 62-year-old Mary Arch(pictured), from Stowheath Lane, Wolverhampton, who appeared on the stage of the Grand when she was seven years old in a school concert from St Patrick's Junior School. She was with her daughter Kathryn, 21.

Councillor Dennis Turner, chairman of the authority's Grand Theatre Committee said he was delighted by the response and appealed to people to come to shows once productions were up and running.

The council pumped hundreds of thousands of pounds into the venture to reopen the theatre, with cash also coming from the government and public donations.

The picture is reproduced as the Express & Star joins with the Grand to mark the theatre’s milestone 125th anniversary celebrations.

If you have memories or pictures, email or write to 125 Memories Project, Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, WV1 1DE.