Express & Star

Wolverhampton Grand at 125: Modern dressing rooms bring new era at theatre

When actors returned to the Grand after its three-year closure, they found a completely new venue.

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The Grand's new dressing rooms in 1983

After sustained campaign to refurbish and reopen the much-loved theatre, it was arguably one of the best-equipped in the country.

Our backstage picture of one of the new dressing rooms was taken on August 30, 1983, the day before the Grand re-opened.

In 1980, following the shock shutdown, much of the theatre's furniture and fittings, as well as props and costumes were auctioned. Workmen moved in later that year to start an extensive renovation of the theatre, its second in a decade.

Seating in the upper circle was redesigned, creating an overall capacity of 1,200, while the existing seats were stripped and rebuilt. Work was also carried out in the dress circle and foyer.

The overhaul continued behind the scenes as the backstage area, including the dressing rooms, also received a complete makeover.

Cash was raised in a variety of ways, co-ordinated by the Save The Grand Theatre campaign and members of the Grand Theatre Club. An annual grant from Wolverhampton Council helped in the following years to keep the venue going.0

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.