Blackpool Winter Gardens
September 10, 2011 at 10:28 am
Blackpool Winter Gardens Located in the town centre, 250 metres from the sea front, is Blackpool’s largest entertainment complex. This impressive building named “The Blackpool Winter Gardens” is intended to provide an arts venue in inclement weather. The original site was owned by the Winter Gardens Company who bought the site from the Hey Estate for £28,000 in 1878. Worth over £40 million today the historic twelve venues make ‘The Blackpool Winter Garden’s well worth a visit, if only to marvel at the variety in architecture, interior design and atmosphere. Enter through the beautifully refurbished Dome and Floral Hall to appreciate the grandeur that awaits you.
- The Opera House Theatre: This 3000 capacity venue is known for hosting the first Royal Variety Performance held outside of London in 1955. It is where the Queen met Lady Ga Ga who wore that red-all-over “ensemble” in 2009. Inside the theatre itself, you can view the curious arced ceiling bows that draw the eye centre stage.
- The Empress Ballroom: At 12,500 square feet it is one of the largest ballrooms in the world and hosts the Blackpool Dance Festival each year and the World Matchplay Darts Tournament. Especially famous as a political conference venue, locals boast that every Prime Minister since World War II has addressed an audience here. You can catch celebrity musicians on tour here as it is a fantastic acoustic venue.
- The Stardust Garden: Connected to the Empress Ballroom to serve as a refreshments area.
- The Pavillion Theatre: Used alternately as a cinema and exhibition space, this semi circular amphitheatre forms part of the original build. It is lovely to sit in this space, with original sweeping gold detail balconies and comfortable green velvet chairs.
- The Arena: Or Indian Lounge as it was formerly known due to its original decor, is currently in the Roman style and is the place for conferences and banquets.
- Planet Room: The stylish bar adjacent to The Arena.
- Olympia: This 3,500 capacity exhibition centre was used to teach morse code in World War II, and is now sleek and modernised for use by trade shows.
- Spanish Hall: Located on the first floors, the halls are designed by period and the features are lovely to behold. These include an Andalusian frieze and art deco fittings circa 1930. Capacity 1000.
- Windsor Bar: Gorgeous afternoon cocktails at this first floor bar.
- Baronial Hall: Set in the style of a medieval castle compete with herald insignias, oak panelling and complex woodwork carvings. Popular for weddings and select dining.
- Renaissance hall: Used for special private catered events and benefitting from lovely natural lighting and decorative period wallpaper design features.