A former Merthyr Tydfil theatre, cinema and later bingo hall has proven a surprise hit as it came under the spotlight at auction earlier this month.
The grade II former Theatre Royal and Opera House, dating from the 1890's and which finally went dark in the 2000's, soared well past its initial reserve of nil and finally sold under the hammer for £107,100.
The fading but once grandiose building, at Park Place, Penydarren Road, played host to a glittering array of international stars of stage and screen over the years. The crumbling palace of entertainment is now in new hands, after a dramatic two-piece bidding war.
At 4pm on Thursday 10th March, the highest bid stood at £12,600 , but after over an hour and a half of frantic bidding (212 bids in total) the new owner won the theatre for £107,100.
There were 17 bidders in total, but for the last hour or so it came down to just two.
The huge property, which at its height had a stage 22 feet deep and 28 feet wide served by six dressing rooms and could seat 1,500, was sold by Newport-based Paul Fosh Auctions.
Debra Bisley, of Paul Fosh Auctions, said:
The theatre had a nil reserve, so it could have been snapped up for just £100, but it fittingly turned into quite the show and went for £107,100.
We can’t wait to see what the building will be used for now that it has a new owner.
Designed by Merthyr Tydfil architect TC Wakeling in a neo classical style when opened it was one of the premier theatres in all Wales. The theatre began operating as a cinema as well as live theatre in the 1920's before being converted to a bingo club in the 1960's and closing in the mid 2000's. It has remained empty and unused ever since, until now?
The new owners plans for the building remain unknown and the auctioneer has not yet seen inside, so only time will tell what will become of this once brilliant building.
The next Paul Fosh Auction, where a number more exciting properties will go under the hammer, will begin on Tuesday, April 12 and ending from 5pm on Thursday April 14.