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The Grand Opera House

2-4 Great Victoria Street, Belfast BT2 7HR

The Grand Opera House holds a place in the hearts of most Belfast folk.  It's a truly wonderful Victorian building, designed by renowned theatre architect, Frank Matcham.  After a turbulent history that almost saw it torn down in the early 70s to make way for an office block, it finally achieved its 'listed' status in 1974 after being bought by the Arts Council.  In 2006 it was extensively renovated and was given a contemporary extension that houses the Baby Grand performance space.  The extension caused a lot of controversy at the time thanks to its modern appearance alongside the original Victorian building, but eight years on its now part of the city's landscape.  The main auditorium is a wonderful example of the Oriental style applied to theatre decor in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  Watching a performance is truly an experience in the plush and sumptuous surroundings...  The theatre regularly attracts a host of big name performers to tread the boards, including West End productions, the Royal Ballet tours and A-list comedians.  With every visit I'm transported back to my childhood and always reminded of the Muppet Show with its red velvet curtains and gold trim... one of these days I'm hoping to catch a glimpse of Statler & Waldorf up in the Box... 

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