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Galveston Blog:
Read All About the Island

Make the most of your stay on Galveston Island with our insiders guide to exploring the area. Our monthly Staff Picks highlight all of the historic places, interactive tours, and family-friendly attractions that make our beachfront city so special. Read more to learn about our favorite places to drink, dine, shop, and explore.

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opera house seats
10 Apr

Grand Times at the Grand

A proud jewel in Galveston’s crown, The Grand 1894 Opera House remains one of the oldest structures still standing in the city, and is renowned for hosting world-class performances.

Before visiting The Grand for a performance or tour, take a walk through the history of Galveston's grandest landmark.

In 1894, Galveston was one of the four largest cities in Texas and a thriving mecca of culture and commerce. When theatrical entrepreneur Henry Greenwald approached a handful of prominent businessmen and civic-minded Galvestonians with the idea of building a majestic opera house in the island city, he raised the needed $100,000 in just one day!

Just six years later, The Great Storm of 1900 hit Galveston. About a third of the island’s buildings were destroyed, but the opera house sustained major damages, but remained standing. Within 13 months, The Grand was restored, surviving two more major hurricanes in the process.

The Grand enjoyed many years of successful performances and packed audiences until it was bought by A. Martini in 1924 and renamed The Martini, functioning as a movie and vaudeville house. Over time, the theater was plagued by poor attendance and closed in 1974.

As destiny would have it, just a few blocks away, The Strand was being revitalized, and in this spirit of rejuvenation, a 12-year, $8 million project to restore The Grand began. It was completed in 1986, and The Grand 1894 Opera House has remained an iconic landmark ever since with a long legacy of hosting such luminaries as Lyle Lovett, Ray Charles, Willie Nelson, Liza Minnelli, B.B. King, and The Beach Boys, to name a few.

Today, the Grand presents regular live performances by the Galveston Symphony Orchestra and the touring shows of Broadway's hottest hits. Due to the pandemic, a schedule of summer performances has yet to be announced. You can check out their website or give them a call for the most up-to-date information. In lieu of planning for specific events, keep in mind that gift certificates make wonderful gifts and help to support local institutions like The Grand.

Where to Stay

Make visiting The Grand part of your multi-day itinerary in Galveston with a selection of historic and luxurious accommodations to call home during your stay. Searching for a beachside oasis? Make reservations at Hotel Galvez & Spa. Prefer stunning harbor views? Then you’ll love the Harbor House Hotel & Marina at Pier 21.