A theatre for the people

The Malvern Assembly Rooms, the first incarnation of the building now known as Malvern Theatres, was built on land purchased by the Malvern Assembly Rooms and Pleasure Gardens Company, and was opened in 1885. It hosted a variety of stage shows, concerts and films.

In 1927 the local district council bought the building, as a result of a tireless campaign led by much loved local GP Henry Jacob, who was determined that the privately-owned venue should belong to the people of the town.

Productions of plays by George Bernard Shaw and the musical works of Edward Elgar soon put Malvern’s theatre firmly on the cultural map of twentieth century Britain.

There were two distinct performance areas: the Festival Theatre with permanent seating, reserved for drama and musical productions, and the Winter Gardens, a multi-purpose hall with a stage and temporary seating.

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