1900 - 2020
THE GRAND’S AMAZING HISTORY
Joining the dots between Charlie Chaplin to The Vengaboys, Oasis to Bianca Del Rio & everything in-between!
The Grand was established in 1900 by some of the most popular performers of the time. Launched at the height of the Music Hall, since then we’ve been a Cinema, Bingo Hall (almost a petrol station & Wetherspoons!) a Live Music Venue and then a Nightclub, always remaining true to our original aim: to entertain. Most recently we have revived our original mission: the perfect blend of variety and quality. With immersive movie screenings or an irreverent take on bingo one night, and world-class comedians, musicians and DJs the next, we’re reinventing the best of the past for new audiences, adding a modern twist, whilst looking to the future.
We were founded by one of the kings of Music Hall Dan Leno (who created the role of the Pantomime Dame!), with the ambition of providing a stage and a venue for performers and locals of the Battersea Area. We held regular performances by all the Music Hall & Variety greats, from Marie Lloyd to the world famous Charlie Chaplin. After cutting his teeth here with us, one of our managers, Walter Gibbons, went on to build The Palladium!
After a failed attempt to turn us into a Petrol Station, for 15 years we were exclusively a Bingo Hall! Initially run by independent groups, it proved so popular that the then big boys of Bingo Mecca took over, until they vacated our building in 1979. Little did they know Bingo would return to our venue in our present day incarnation with the globe trotting success story that is Bongo’s Bingo. A lot more confetti, booze and dancing than Mecca’s 1978 version….
We were lovingly restored back to our former glory by Vince Power and the Mean Fiddler Group, resurrecting us as a Live Music Venue. This saw world famous acts like The Kinks, George Clinton, Nick Cave, & Public Enemy grace our stage, alongside The Verve, Suede and The Manic Street Preachers all performing at the peak of their powers. Unfortunately this period of amazing gigs ended far too soon, and we became perilously close to becoming a Wetherspoons thankfully avoided by an intervention from Vanessa & Corin Redgrave…That’s a story for another day though!
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