During 1892, at the Mackworth Arms Hotel,
Street, an auction, held by Mr W. J. Rees, produced
a catalogue with the catchy title: – ‘Particulars, Plans, and
Conditions of Sale of very valuable and important freehold properties, situate in the thriving town of Swansea. comprising: – Ground Rents secured by The Drill Hall, The Public Houses……’ The
catalogue provides a colour map of Singleton
Street with the location of the Drill Hall and the description of Lot 19. The ground rent of £10 per annum would be worth £888 today and the rent per annum of £100, £8,883.
Five years later in 1897, the Drill Hall was gone – It was purchased from Colonel
Pike by Frederick
Mouillot and H. H. Morell, who were
two entrepreneur actor managers. The building was demolished, and a Renaissance style theatre was built by the very experienced architect William Hope.
The auditorium comprised of three tiers, allowing 2,500 people to be in attendance. The Dress Circle, was fitted with 300 comfortable red plush upholstery tip-up chairs, each one provided the viewer
a good view of the stage. Meanwhile
downstairs in the Pit, the seating was comfortable. There were ample exits, allowing the theatre to be cleared within 2 minutes, with the main entrance being located at Singleton Street.
The opening ceremony on July 26th 1897, was performed by opera singer Madam Adelina
Patti who lived at Craig-y-Nos. Madam Patti, christ-ened
the memorial stone, with an orthodox bottle of wine, saying ‘I name this building the
Grand Theatre’. The local populous were in attendance. If any reader had relatives who remembered this exciting day, and has any family tales, it would be wonderful to hear from you.
July 28th saw the first production ‘The Geisha’, a Japanese