Iconic Walsall Building Given Grade II Listed Building Status

The Imperial Picture House, which in more recent years served as a bingo hall and a J.D. Wetherspoon’s pub, has been given Grade II-listing.

The Imperial in 1899
The Imperial in 1899.

In the summer of 2021, a redevelopment proposal was put forward by Lodge Housing Ltd to turn the iconic Walsall building into apartments, but its new status now protects its architectural and historical significance. The 1,800-capacity theatre has stood in the town since 1869 when it first used as an agricultural hall.

The application for listing was submitted by the Theatres Trust to Historic England, who made the following statement:

“Theatres Trust is delighted that our application to have the Imperial Theatre in Walsall listed has been successful.

“The Imperial is a rare and unusual example of an early cine-variety theatre and much of its architectural character and original features remain intact.

“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.”

It’s unknown whether the building will ever be used again, but many are hoping it will be restored as a venue that serves the local community.

Related News