Building Name

Conversion: Fourth Church of Christian Science. 23 Peter Street

Central, Manchester
GMCA, England
New Build
J. T. Hollinworth and Company

The building began as a wooden "shanty" where the Grand Circus disported itself for the entertainment of the populace. before it was transformed into a music hall, and its outer walls hastily clad with brickwork. The venture failed and its ownership changed frequently. Whenever funds permitted, apparently, improvements were effected, galleries remodelled, and the walls shaped to conventional ideas of construction. There followed the day of the cinema, and the Grand Theatre was the earliest in the field in Manchester, being again remodelled for the purpose. Seven times in the last ten years the theatre changed hands, being latterly known as the "Palladium" and the "Futurist". On each occasion the building was overhauled, altered, improved and generally refurbished. In 1924 it was put up for sale once more, and the Christian Scientists, for whom it offered an ideal site and accommodation, bought it and placed it in the hands of Messrs Charles Clegg & Son,  for reconstruction. The building contractors were J. T. Hollinworth & Co. They reduced the size of the auditorium by partitioning off the upper circle immediately behind the plaster balcony front and creating rooms and a circulatory corridor around the whole building at this level. To raise some income the foyer was let as a high class car showroom and the stage was converted to a workshop for this business - the wooden stage being removed and replaced by concrete (retaining the traps).

By 1999 the building was too large for the Seventh Day Adventists who moved across the road to new premises. The former Grand was then converted into the Life Cafe and Late Room, retaining a live band space on two levels.

See also Grand Pavilion, 23 Peter Street for full history