Imperial Theatre Walsall awarded Grade II listing
Theatres Trust is pleased that our application to have the early cine-variety theatre listed has been successful.
Built in 1869 as an agricultural hall, the building was fused or a variety of community activities including shows, dancing, and was also hired out to travelling film showmen. In 1880 the hall was reconstructed internally for use as a theatre and from 1899 it was known as the Imperial Theatre. Films were being shown on a regular basis by 1908, marking the Imperial as an unusual example of an early cine-variety theatre. Later uses as a bingo hall and a pub have not altered its architectural character and many original features survive.
On account of its rarity and intactness, Theatres Trust submitted a listing application and is delighted that Historic England agrees with our assessment that the Imperial merits listing.
This decision is particularly welcome as there is currently a planning application to convert the building into flats and the Grade II listed status will give the Imperial additional protection against harmful redevelopment.