Blackpool Grand Theatre fans get their marching orders to mark the icon's 125th year

Blackpool's Grand Theatre which is celebrating its 125th year - opening just a few months after the Blackpool Tower
Blackpool's Grand Theatre which is celebrating its 125th year - opening just a few months after the Blackpool Tower
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Fylde coast folk are being invited to take to the streets and march, to celebrate the 125th anniversary, of Blackpool Grand Theatre.

It was “people power” and the support of the community that saved The Grand when it was threatened with demolition in the 1970s.

A photograph from the march in 1974 to save The Grand Theatre

A photograph from the march in 1974 to save The Grand Theatre

The Friends of the Grand group was formed and after a successful campaign, including a march through town, saved the Grade II listed, Frank Matcham-designed theatre.

To celebrate this, theatre bosses want to stage a march of 125 people through the streets to coincide with National Heritage Open Day, on the September 15.

And they are hoping to get people related to those who took part in the original march to take part.

Andrew Howard, marketing manager at the Grand, said: “This year’s National Heritage Open Day is themed on people power and that fits perfectly with The Grand and our own celebration of both our 125th birthday and how the theatre was saved by the local community.”

Like many theatres in the 60s and 70s, The Grand was closed.

Only the hard work of the volunteers, who raised money to buy the building, resulted in its re-opening in 1981 with The Merchant of Venice.

Mr Howard added: “As with our Extraordinary Women themed event last year, this is an opportunity to tell the stories of people who have changed and shaped The Grand Theatre.

“We want to hear about the creation of The Friends, special friendships forged connected to The Grand, and ultimately how the Frank Matcham building was saved.

“We want to talk about and to the people who have been instrumental in the past but moving the theatre forward and helping support it day after day so that we can say the first 125 years were just the beginning.”

To share stories or attend the march, contact 01253 290 190 or visitwww.blackpoolgrand.co.uk/event/125-people-power/