Former theatre to take starring role at auction

More than 90 years after it first opened, the curtain is set to rise on a new future for the old Windsor Theatre in Smethwick as it comes up for sale at auction with a price tag starting at £475,000.

The landmark building will have star-billing at Bond Wolfe Auctions’ record-breaking sale on Wednesday 19 May in the largest property auction ever held outside of London.

The former theatre, at 377-379 Bearwood Road, has played many roles over the years, from cinema and ice rink to snooker hall and nightclub.

Most recently it was revamped as a live music venue with bars and function rooms.

Since it first opened in September 1930, showing the film musical “Chasing Rainbows” starring former silent film star Bessie Love, the building’s imposing façade has made it a focal point for the local area, with its domed roof dominating the skyline on the corner of Bearwood Road and Dunsford Road.

Recently the property has fallen into some disrepair. It is locally listed and could provide potential for a wide range of uses, either similar to its previous life or alternatively as a mixed redevelopment including homes if the necessary planning consents can be secured.

Ron Darlington of Bond Wolfe said: “This is a landmark building that offers huge potential for any investors or developers, in a busy area on the border of Birmingham and the Black Country.

“It is typical of the kind of commercial opportunity we have featured in our previous auctions and which have helped make them a huge draw – our last live-streamed event in March saw more than 34,000 people tuning into watch proceedings and we achieved sales of more than £30.2m.

“This month’s event will be even bigger, with 236 lots in our catalogue – the largest number for any property auction outside of London.

“We are expecting bidders from across the UK and overseas to compete for lots from across the UK. This former theatre is set to be a star turn at the auction.”