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Periode: 1930 - nu
Status: actief

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Grand Theatre



The Grand Theatre was built at the Grote Markt around 1930. It stands where the hotel De Zeven Provincieën once stood. The architect G. Saville designed the building with its Art Deco façade.

From 1930 to 1977 the building served as a movie theatre seating about 800 people. In addition, it was used for boxing matches and various kinds of performances. Dutch artists who performed in the Grand Theatre include Lou Bandy, Wim Kan, Toon Hermans and André van Duin (comedians).

The interior of the Grand Theatre was renovated after World War II. However, fierce competition with large cinema corporations such as Wolff and Tuschinsky forced the Grand Theatre to shut its doors in 1977. The building remained unused for several years. A plan to demolish the building and build new housing failed. Squatters entered the building on the night of May 30th 1980, and they organized a large-scale cultural festival featuring several bands and theatre companies from Groningen. The spontaneous festival was a huge success.

Despite years of dispute with the local authorities, the Grand Theatre remains independent and has acquired the status of theatre workshop. A major renovation in 1994 gave the main floor its present shape.


As for musical events, the first edition of the festival “Les trois jours de la grande musique” took place in 1991. Over the years, this festival has developed into a national event for new European jazz and improvised music.

The number of performances and productions has increased since 1996. Cooperation with the summer festival Noorderzon is one of the reasons for this increase.


The Grand Theatre has been an official Eurosonic venue since 1998. The building actually offers two stages: one on the impressive main floor, and another one upstairs, in a space which is smaller and more intimate. International artists like An Pierlé, Hooverphonic (BE), JJ 72 (IE), Young Gods (CH), Kings Of Convenience, VUK (FI) and Wardruna (NO) played here over the years. The same goes for local acts Ygdrassil , Jammah Tammah and Meindert Talma & The Negroes.