The Grand Opera House is a theatre in Belfast, Northern Ireland, designed by the most prolific theatre architect of the period, Frank Matcham. It opened on 23 December 1895. Variety programmes dominated in the 1920s and 1930s and the theatre saw performances by Gracie Fields, Will Fyffe and Harry Lauder. It became a repertory theatre during World War II and at the celebrations to mark the end of the war, Eisenhower, Montgomery and Alanbrooke attended gala performances at the theatre. The Grand Opera House was acquired by the Rank Organisation, which led to its use as a cinema between 1961 and 1972.

As business slowed in the early 1970s with the onset of the Troubles (conflict in Northern Ireland during the late 20th century). The building has been damaged by bombs on several occasions, usually when the nearby Europa Hotel had been targeted. It was badly damaged by bomb blasts in 1991 and 1993. The theatre continued, however, to host musicals, plays, pantomimes and live music.

In 1995 the running of the theatre was taken over by the Grand Opera House Trust. An renovation was undertaken in 2006 with the addition of the Baby Grand performance space together with extended foyers, extended stage wings and artist accommodation and access for customers with disabilities.

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    Founded: 1895
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    4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

    User Reviews

    Amanda mckee (15 months ago)
    I've always loved going to the GOH,and I've always had great experiences. This visit was excellent, right up to the point when the ramp was installed to allow myself and another disabled lady to access the theatre with our mobility scooters. It was a clear struggle to get the scooter up the ramp, as there wasn't enough room at the bottom, to manoeuvre the scooter into a straight position. It took me several, quite embarrassing, tries to get the scooter onto, and up the ramp. Upon leaving the theatre, the other lady was so anxious, about getting her scooter down the ramp, that she got off, and had her husband move it for her. I felt confident enough to manoeuvre my own scooter, down the ramp. Big mistake. The other lady had right to be concerned. As my rear wheels accessed the top of the ramp, the ramp slid down a step with quite a bump, and myself and the scooter nearly toppled over, as the front left wheel was forced off the edge of the ramp. I felt utterly humiliated, as other theatre users, and my husband, rushed to my aide, to not only stop the scooter from going over, and me falling, but to help pick up my handbag, and some of its contents, which had started to spill out, after it fell off the scooter, and landed upside down. The chap who put the scooter in place was a bit concerned, asking of I was OK etc. I couldn't get away quick enough after that. It was a shame, as we had, had, the most wonderful evening, watching The Calendar Girls. Perhaps it's a system that could be revised.
    Jes Taylor (16 months ago)
    Firstly, I love the performances here, they're always great fun. It's a great evening out, situated by a train/bus station and surrounded by cheery pubs. The inside of the building is beautiful, with a wonderfully painted ceiling. There are three floors, as far as public access goes. There is a lift, but I'm not sure just how accessible seating arrangements are in the building. I have found the seats to be quite uncomfortable and the safety to be slightly concerning. In the Gods, for example, a small metal bar seems to be the only thing keeping you from plummeting down to the tier below. The seats are uncomfortably close to one another, making viewing slightly unpleasant. Air conditioning and heating in the building, without a joke, blows hot and cold. I often feel far too warm just as the show begins, then freezing cold midway. Despite these issues, I honestly love visiting this place, the shows are always really good, acoustics are great, and service is usually friendly.
    James Wyper (16 months ago)
    The performance was very fast moving & the cast were in top form. Very funny & some hilarious moments. Audience were very relaxed & appeared to enjoy every moment along with the music. Enjoyable evening.
    David Milliken (17 months ago)
    Watched give my head peace, great show. Lovely building and the staff were very friendly and professional. Seats we had were a bit cramped for those with legs and feet and over 5' tall. Great experience though I'll be back again.
    Bill Gilmore (17 months ago)
    I had a wonderful experience at the Grand Opera House. It was like going back in time as the theatre itself seems like it hadn't changed for hundreds of years. Having said that everything was clean and well maintained. I feel like I was bitten by the bug of live theatre and I will definitely be back. Pro tip come early to soak up the atmosphere, the drinks seemed cheaper than the near by pubs too.
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