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Royal Hall Harrogate

The Royal Hall is a Grade II* listed Edwardian performance hall and theatre located just on the outskirts of Harrogate Town Centre.

With its 950-seat capacity, spectacular décor and large versatile floor space, the Royal Hall provides a breath-taking setting. Over 100-years-old, the Royal Hall was re-opened by Prince Charles in 2008 following an eight million pound restoration.  – Harrogate Theatre runs a programme of live events at the Royal Hall throughout the year.

This stunning Edwardian theatre is the jewel in Harrogate’s crown. – Built in 1903 by Frank Matcham as a multi-purpose entertainment space for the rich and famous visitors to Harrogate’s spa, this magnificent building is the definitive location for an unforgettable event. – The breathtaking interior design is derived from the great ballrooms of imperial Europe combined with British theatrical elements and with almost a thousand seats it’s the perfect ‘wow’ venue. – Royal Hall comes with its own technical package and three dedicated technical staff. – The hall’s richly detailed architecture, proscenium arch stage and excellent acoustics make it ideal for all manner of theatre, concerts, recitals, tea dances, dinners, conferences and seminars.

The Royal Hall is a Grade II* listed performance hall and theatre, located in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England.

With local benefactors led by engineering inventor Samson Fox, the building opened in 1903 as the Kursaal. It had been constructed on the site of the former Cheltenham Pump Room, as visitors to the town seeking the famed spa water, had declined in the latter half of the 19th century.

The Kursaal was designed by Robert Beale and Frank Matcham, one of the most prolific theatre architects of his time, it was loosely based on the design of the Ostend Kursall in Belgium. Kursaal is a German language word which translates literally as “Cure Hall, but was used for grand receptions and special occasions. A popular form of building in late 19th-century European spa destinations, the concept never caught on in the United Kingdom. Hence as World War began, the theatre was renamed the more patriotic “Royal Hall”

In the 1950s, like many theatres converted into a cinema but looking for alternative uses, the venue helped in the formation and growth of Harrogate as a conference and exhibition centre. The Royal Hall is an important national heritage building, with Harrogate acknowledged as a top UK event destination and home to Harrogate International Centre. By 1997 the Royal Hall needed renovation, and in 2001, English Heritage put the building on the national “buildings at risk” register. The Harrogate Borough Council formed the Royal Hall Restoration Trust to raise the £10.7 million needed for the restoration. Supported by Edward Fox, a great-grandson of Samson Fox, donations were received from the Council, Harrogate International Centre, and the Heritage Lottery Fund, with the trust itself raising £2.7 million from local benefactors. This allowed for an authentic interior redecoration and the restoration of the dress circle. The patron of the Royal Hall Restoration Trust, Prince Charles, led the Hall’s official re-opening on 22 January 2008.

Harrogate’s Royal Hall has been the central venue within the Harrogate International Festivals portfolio since the Festival was established in 1966, and in 2014 played host to J.K.Rowling’s only UK appearance under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.

In 2014, The International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, an annual three-week theatre festival from the end of July through most of August, moved to Harrogate In 2013, the Festival had sold more than 25,000 tickets by June. The Festival was held in Buxton from 1994 to 2013. It is an adjudicated competition among a dozen amateur Gilbert & Sullivan troupes, with professional performances given on the weekends, given in the Hall. There are also dozens of fringe events scheduled for the Harrogate Theatre and other venues.

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