The history of the Little Theatre began long before it was built in 1963. During the dark days of the Second World War, The Manchester Repertory Theatre Company were evacuated from Manchester to the Pavilion Theatre on Rhyl’s Promenade.
Within the Theatre Company, there was a young Actor by the name of Joseph Holroyd, who asked the Rep Company Director a Mr W. Armitage Owen, if he would be able to run Theatre classes for the young people of Rhyl. The first classes took place in the upstairs lounge bar of the Theatre, on a Saturday morning in 1944. Within twelve months’the, membership of the Children’s Theatre Club (As it became known) had exceeded 200 children. The war ended, and Joe stayed in Rhyl and continued to develop the Children’s Theatre. Actress Angela Day also remained, and between them they made the club a big success. Pantomimes and plays where produced and performed at the Pavilion Theatre, The Queen’s Theatre, and The Town hall. The Club moved into what was the First Little Theatre during the 1950’s. This being the upstairs of a ware house in Abbey Street. The Stage was tiny, and it only had fifty seats. However, it was home.
In 1961 The use of a former primary school was offered to the theatre on a lease. The aim was to convert the former Ysgol Emmanuel to a theatre. However, the building was not favourable in nature for conversion. The Minister of Education for Wales was called in, and grandly announced that the building be demolished, and a new Theatre Built. That decision led to the building of the First purpose built theatre for children in the UK. Our own Little Theatre, here on Vale road. The Theatre opened its doors in May 1963, and has been running ever since. The future of the theatre has been secured for another 25 years by the signing of a new lease. May it continue to prosper.
Please see below pictures of the theatre's productions throughout the decades. We have both The Rhyl Children's Theatre Club history pictures and Group 200. If you notice a picture in the wrong decade, please either leave a comment below or email to email@example.com with the title of the photo and we will correct it as soon as we can. Thank you.