Venue Cymru is a large arts venue in Llandudno incorporating a 1500 seat theatre, conference centre and arena.
The venue was previously known as the North Wales Theatre.
There has been a theatre on the Venue Cymru site since 1894. Originally named the Victoria Palace, it was only intended to be a temporary building but became a landmark on the promenade for over 100 years.
In 1915 the theatre was bought by Wil Caitlin and renamed the Arcadia. The Arcadia hosted 1147 seats and was the only one of Llandudno’s six theatres to stand the test of time.
In 1982 the Aberconwy Centre opened next door to the Arcadia theatre. The Aberconwy Centre hosted conference space for over 1000 delegates as well as a squash centre, sun beds and badminton facilities!
On 22nd June 1994 the curtain dropped on the Arcadia, the Aberconwy Centre was redeveloped and re-named, and the North Wales Theatre and Conference Centre was born. The North Wales Theatre consisted of a 1500 seat auditorium in a fully equipped receiving house theatre able to stage the largest of West End touring productions. The adjoining North Wales Conference Centre provided a host of conference facilities including the 700 square metre Hall capable of seating 800 delegates theatre style and hosting standing concerts for over 1000.
The original Arcadia theatre was forgotten and lay derelict until July 2005 when workmen broke ground on a £10.7 million project to enhance and redevelop the facilities at the North Wales Theatre and Conference Centre. Where the Arcadia once stood, to the East of the complex, a new conference atrium and suite of meeting and conference rooms was built including a new 1550 square metre Arena providing space for 1800 seats theatre style or more than 2500 people standing. The total capacity of the conference centre rose dramatically to over 5000 delegates.
To the west of the existing building another new extension was added providing a café bar, restaurant, office space and improved box office facilities. The enhancement was funded by Conwy County Borough Council and its funding partners. The greatest amount of money came from the European Union’s Objective One Fund Programme, with further significant amounts coming from the Arts Council of Wales (£1million lottery funding), Visit Wales (now part of the Welsh Assembly Government), the Welsh Development Agency (which is now part of the Welsh Assembly) and the Local Regeneration Fund.
The North Wales Theatre, Conference Centre and Arena demanded a new, shorter and bilingual (Welsh/English) name. In December 2005 a competition was launched in a local newspaper to rename the complex. Almost 300 entries were received and the winning entry Venue Cymru (Cymru is Welsh for Wales) was chosen a few months later. Venue Cymru was officially opened on Monday 15th January 2007 by Andrew Davies AM and has been described as the beginning of a new era for Entertainment, Conferencing and Events in Llandudno.