Iconic Civic Halls to celebrate 80th birthday

May 11, 2018

The Civic Halls

The Civic Halls

Original aluminium handrail with feature globes fitted to the balcony of the Civic Hall

Original aluminium handrail with feature globes fitted to the balcony of the Civic Hall

Lady Wulfruna mural

Lady Wulfruna mural

Original curved timber panelling to the left-hand side of the stage in the Wulfrun Hall. Panels are a light mahogany with a number being painted with murals depicting entertainment themes. These were painted by local artist Muriel Gilbert who was responsible for many of the paintings on the R.M.S. Queen Mary.

Original curved timber panelling to the left-hand side of the stage in the Wulfrun Hall. Panels are a light mahogany with a number being painted with murals depicting entertainment themes. These were painted by local artist Muriel Gilbert who was responsible for many of the paintings on the R.M.S. Queen Mary.

Out of Darkness wall feature in the Wulfrun Hall foyer. Letters are aluminium and the main features are carved out of timber

Out of Darkness wall feature in the Wulfrun Hall foyer. Letters are aluminium and the main features are carved out of timber

Inner aluminium doors to the Civic Hall foyer

Inner aluminium doors to the Civic Hall foyer

City of Wolverhampton’s Grade II-listed Civic Halls celebrate their 80th anniversary tomorrow (May 12).

Completed in 1938 the Civic Halls were Wolverhampton’s first dedicated performance venue for music recitals, theatre productions and even film projection.

The iconic halls are currently undergoing a major overhaul to ensure they are still a leading performance venue for decades to come.

When they first opened back in the 1930s the buildings contained many innovative features such as the extensive use of the new futuristic metal ‘aluminium’, which finds its way into many of the fittings within both halls, and the extensive use of durable terrazzo for floor finishes and door surrounds.

Essential to the works programme is retaining the heritage-significant features such as the original timber painted murals fitted to the Wulfrun Hall and the aluminium handrails. Many other original details will be fully refurbished and re-displayed in the completed project.

The halls are a much-loved venue for music and comedy legends and over the decades many have left ringing endorsements.

Manic Street Preachers said ‘Love Wolverhampton Civic Hall. It just has those rock and roll ley lines that pass through the venue. You never do a bad gig there; Blur said ‘It was unbelievable, it was just another world; and Echo and the Bunnymen said ‘The best show and audience in the last 30 years. What a gig, what a city!’.

The multi-million-pound restoration will stay true to the Civic Halls’ roots, while future-proofing them and delivering improvements that will enable them to host an even wider range of shows.

Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: “The Civic Halls are a very special place.

“Generations of Wulfrunians and music and comedy fans from across the UK have shared unforgettable memories here with international stars and the biggest bands.

“This weekend, the Civic is celebrating its 80th birthday and remains to this day hugely important to our city’s economic well-being.

“A thriving and vibrant Civic Halls - that continues to draw people from all over the country - is a key part of our vision for a successful city.”

The halls are due to reopen in Autumn 2020.

In the meantime, major events like the Grand Slam of Darts and premier comedy acts such as Jason Manford and Saran Millican have been switched to alternative City of Wolverhampton venue, Aldersley Leisure Village.

Tickets for the Grand Slam of Darts and comedy events are on sale now at www.wolvescivic.co.uk.

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