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Swansea High Street
Usually for opera
Swansea Grand Theatre is at the heart of the city and county of Swansea’s cultural life and is one of the foremost theatres in Wales, with a long and illustrious history. Opera diva of the day, Madame Adelina Patti declared the theatre open on 26th July 1897 During the theatre's early years (1897 - 1930) it established itself as a venue for the best touring companies and star names of the time, with visits by the likes of Ivor Novello, Forbes Robertson and the first knight of theatre, Sir Henry Irving. The theatre then entered a turbulent period in its history from 1933 to the early seventies with many successes and many failures, including being turned into a cinema for a fourteen year period. In the 1960s and 70s the theatre was sadly neglected and audience numbers dwindled mainly thanks to the popularity of television. In 1969 Swansea Council came to the rescue and leased the theatre. In 1970 Swansea gained city status and the council bought the lease outright. The City and County of Swansea continues to own, manage and fund Swansea Grand Theatre today. A multi-million-pound refurbishment programme from 1983 to 1987 turned the 1026 seat theatre into one of the most technically advanced and aesthetically pleasing venues in the UK. Then in 1999 the theatre welcomed the addition of a new Arts Wing which increased the space open to visitors by a third and created a new studio and three exhibition areas. In any one year around 400 performances take place in the main auditorium and 100 (and growing) performances in the Arts Wing. Average attendances at the theatre are 270,000 per year.
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