View Full Version : Archived: Llandudno Pier Pavilion Theatre - March 09

30-03-2009, 11:29 AM
These are the sorry remains of the once magnificent Pier Pavilion in Llandudno. The Pavilion was started in 1881 but didn't open until 1896 due to damage caused to the roof in a storm. It was opened beacuse the original theatre on the end of the pier was too small. The original theatre still stands today but is now an amusemnet arcade.

The new Pier Pavilion Theatre was very popular right up to the 1970s when audiences sarted to dwindle, if you read the article HERE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Llandudno_Pier_Pavilion_Theatre), you will see the very famous names who appeard here including Mr Nazi himself Oswald Mosley :ohmy

The very large basement was once the the biggest swimming pool in the UK but was closed back in the 1890s because of problems with water quality. After it finally closed in 1986 the basement carried on as an amusment arcade for a short time and the closed altogether. In 1992 due to lack of any security and general neglect, the theatre burned down, a sorry episode.

All that remains today are the basement / swimming pool area, and the metalwork which you can see in the old vintage pictures. There are also two very sad staircases to nowhere. The whole thing is an eyesore and big open pits and holes make it a dangerous place to wander around in.

This is a photo I took yesterday of the old theatre.


Vintage picture of the Pier Pavilion, what a great building.


And the inside, this was all still here until it burned down in 1992, what an explore it would have made.


This is what remains today :(









Staircase to oblivion :w00t


20-04-2009, 10:55 AM
what an explore it would have made.

I worked in close proximity to the Pavilion in the early 1990s and hosted several unofficial tours of the building.

It's only when you got inside that you could appreciate what a really massive building the empty theatre was, full of literally dozens of secret rooms, corridors, old equipment scattered around, old posters, photos and programmes on the floor, feral cats sleeping in the balcony seats, an abandoned projection room complete with ancient film projector and reels, and a massive basement area that was like a maze, previously used for a horror waxworks museum and all the backdrops were still in place! French Revolution, Torture Chamber, London street with Sweeney Todds Barber Shop...they were all still in situ!

We explored the entire building...the balcony level (at the Happy Valley road entrance doors, there was a large round mosaic set into the floor that said "Llandudno Pier Company", the stalls level (all the seats still in place), the stage (complete with open trap door!), back of the stage (all of the backdrops were still hanging there), backstage dressing rooms (full of old bits of furniture), manager's office (a lovely panelled room with a large walk-in safe), technical storerooms under the stage, and the massive basement area.

Most entertaining thing of all was...we (I was with a mate) got right down to the lowest part of the building (pretty much at sea level), found a hidden room with a printing press once used for making all of the theatre's posters and then actually found ourselves in the gap between the theatre's wall and the cliff face that the theatre was built up against. We actually had our feet in sea water at this point and could see the passage heading towards the Grand Hotel. As we looked around, I heard a strangled cry and I turned to see the torch fading into just a pinprick of light. Yep, my mate Steve had rechargeable batteries in his torch and they had just failed!!

We must have been at the furthest possible point from the way out and it was absolutely pitch black! Luckily, I had a pretty good idea of the layout in my mind and we were able to slowly feel our way out, with Steve using his cigarette lighter now and again for a little bit of light. And just for a final bit of fun, we were just walking up some steps back up into the stalls area when we walked into a cardboard skeleton that some kind soul had left hanging in the middle of the corridor. We jumped just a little!