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The Music Hall and Theatre History Site
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Theatres in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England

The Music Hall - Theatre Severn / Walker Theatre / The Granada Theatre

The Theatre Severn and Walker Theatre, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury

A Google StreetView Image of the Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury - Click to Interact.

Above - A Google StreetView Image of the Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury - Click to Interact.

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A Google StreetView Image of the Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury - Click to Interact.The Theatre Severn is situated at Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury with its rear elevations and audience terraces overlooking the river severn, hence the name. The Theatre was officially opened on the 25th of March 2009, and, although mooted for 50 years previously, it was the success of Shrewsbury's Music Hall, which had first opened in 1840 and had become increasingly popular in the 21st Century, that had spurred on the building of a new and larger purpose built Theatre for the town.

Right - A Google StreetView Image of the Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury - Click to Interact.

Construction of the Theatre Severn was begun in 2005, to the designs of the architects Austin Smith Lord, and the Theatre was built by Wilmot Dixon. The Theatre's horseshoe shaped auditorium can seat 638 people on three levels, stalls and two circles, and its stage has full flying facilities, with a lifting forestage that can be used as an extension to the stalls at stalls level, or create a thrust stage at stage level. The Theatre also has a large Dance Studio with a sprung floor, and a smaller Studio Theatre called the Walker Theatre, which can seat 250 people or be used as a live music venue with standing space for 500.

The rear of the Theatre also has a hospitality / function room, for 80 people, called the Haydn Smith room, which can be used for various functions and overlooks the River Severn.

After the Theatre had opened in 2009 Shrewsbury's previous Theatre, the old Music Hall, was converted into the Town's Museum and Art Gallery, reopening in April 2014.

You may like to visit Theatre Severn's own website here.

If you have any more information or Images for this Theatre that you are willing to share please Contact me.

The Music Hall, Princess Street, Shrewsbury

Later - The Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery

A Google StreetView Image showing the former Shrewsbury Music Hall, today the town's Museum and Art Gallery - Click to Interact.

Above - A Google StreetView Image showing the former Shrewsbury Music Hall, today the town's Museum and Art Gallery - Click to Interact.

An Advertisement for the opening promenade concerts at the Music Hall, Shrewsbury - From the Shrewsbury Chronicle, 13th November 1840.The Shrewsbury Music Hall first opened on the 14th of November 1840 with a series of Grand Promenade Concerts, see advertisement shown right. The Music Hall was designed by the architect Edward Haycock the Elder.

Right - An Advertisement for the opening promenade concerts at the Music Hall, Shrewsbury - From the Shrewsbury Chronicle, 13th November 1840.

The Hereford Journal reported briefly on the Hall's opening in their Wednesday the 18th of November 1840 edition saying:- 'The opening of the Music Hall, Shrewsbury, was celebrated by a Music Festival, which took place on Tuesday and Wednesday last. Several of the most eminent vocal and instrumental performers of the present day, gratified the numerous auditory by the exercise of their talents, and the total proceeds of the Festival, exclusive of the Ball, were 661l.9s. The Disbursements are calculated at £560, leaving a balance in favour of the Committee of about £100, one-half of which goes to the fund for furnishing the rooms, and the other half to the Choral Society.' - The Hereford Journal, 18th November 1840.

Arthur Lloyd performed at the Shrewsbury Music Hall for the first time in January 1868, the Shrewsbury Chronicle reported on the upcoming event enthusiastically in their 3rd of January 1868 edition saying:- 'Two Hours' Genuine Fun - such is Arthur Lloyd's notice of his first appearance here next Tuesday, and though we are familiar with catching titles, of more or less pretensions, yet in this instance we believe, from all reports we have heard, that this eminent comic vocalist and his party do provide a couple of hours' intense delight and rollicking fun. Though Arthur Lloyd has never been personally before a Shrewsbury audience, his name must be nearly a "household word," through the great reputation of his songs - "Dada," "The Belgian Volunteers," and, more than all, his "Not for Joseph." The sale of this last song is greater than any other at the present time, besides being turned into polka, waltz, quadrille, galop, &c., two rival publishers are now fighting a battle in the advertising columns of the Daily Telegraph over it. Mr. Arthur Lloyd announces one night and the only appearance this season, and those who wish to hear and see the original "Not for Joseph," must not forget to be at the Music Hall on Tuesday next.' - The Shrewsbury Chronicle, 3rd of January 1868.

The Shrewsbury Music Hall had a long and prosperous life as a music hall / theatre and general place of entertainment in Shrewsbury for well over a century but in 2009 redevelopment of the site was begun to convert the building into a Museum and Art Gallery, whilst a new purpose built Theatre called Theatre Severn, which had been constructed in Frankwell, took over the Music Hall's entertainment for the town in January 2009. The Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery reopened in the old Music Hall building in April 2014.

If you have any more information or Images for this Theatre that you are willing to share please Contact me.

The Granada Theatre, 6 Castle Gates, Shrewsbury

Later - Granada Bingo / Gala Bingo

A Google StreetView Image showing the former Granada Theatre, Shrewsbury - Click to Interact.

Above - A Google StreetView Image showing the former Granada Theatre, Shrewsbury - Click to Interact.

A Review for Norman Vaughan in a variety show called 'Christmas Crackers' at the Granada Theatre, Shrewsbury in 1966 - From the Stage Newspaper of January 6th 1966. Also on the Bill were Mrs. Mills and Gerry & The Pacemakers amongst others.The Granada Theatre is situated on Castle Gates, Shrewsbury and first opened on the 14th of November 1934 with the film 'The Camels are Coming'. The Theatre was designed by Cecil Masey in the French Renaissance style, and built for Shrewsbury Empires Ltd., which was part of the Granada Theatres chain. It was the fifth of nearly twenty Theatres built especially for the Granada Chain, the most notable examples of which were the Granada Theatres at Woolwich and Tooting.

The Theatre's auditorium could seat 593 people in its single circle and 932 in its stalls, and its lavishly decorated interior was designed by the well know designer Theodore Komisarjevsky who created most of the Granada Chain's Theatre interiors.

The Theatre did have stage facilities although the stage house was lower than normal so that full height flying wasn't possible. The stage itself though was quite large, with a width of 72 feet, and a 41 foot proscenium opening, its depth was 30 feet, and there was an orchestra pit in front of the stage. The Theatre also had its own cafe above the foyer.

Right - A Review for Norman Vaughan in a variety show called 'Christmas Crackers' at the Granada Theatre, Shrewsbury in 1966 - From the Stage Newspaper of January 6th 1966. Also on the Bill were Mrs. Mills and Gerry & The Pacemakers amongst others.

From its opening in November 1934 the Granada showed films and stage shows, including regular Christmas Pantomimes, for many years and was very successful, with all the latest films showing on its screen, and all the latest stars appearing on its stage, but sadly this ended in 1972 when the stage shows were abandoned and the Theatre went over to Cinema only

A Review for Laurel and Hardy playing at the Granada, Shrewsbury in 1952 - From the Stage Newspaper, April 17th, 1952.This only continued for a year however, as in April 1973 the Theatre was turned over to Bingo, which was still in operation at the Theatre as a Gala Bingo Club at the time of writing in June 2020.

Left - A Review for Laurel and Hardy playing at the Granada, Shrewsbury in 1952 - From the Stage Newspaper, April 17th, 1952.

In 1995 the Theatre was designated a Grade II Listed Building, and its easy to see why, as even today most of its interior by the well know Cinema designer Theodore Komisarjevsky is still visible.

Some more information on the Granada, Shrewsbury, and some very nice interior photos by Ian Grundy, can be found at the Playing Bingo site here.

If you have any more information or Images for this Theatre that you are willing to share please Contact me.

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