Pier Approach Unit 3, Bournemouth BH1 2BU
The Pavilion Theatre and Ballroom, located in the Westover Road in Bournemouth, is a venue for year-round entertainment. Built in the 1920s, it retains its splendour and elegant styling and is Bournemouth's regular home for West End stage shows, Opera, Ballet, Pantomime and Comedy as well as for corporate presentations and dinner dances, product launches and small conferences.
Advocated as early as 1859, proposals for a Pavilion building incorporating a concert room, reading rooms and cafes were first authorised by the municipal authorities in 1892. The architectural competition was won by a young and unknown firm of architects called Home and Knight. On 19 March 1929, the building was opened by HRH The Duke of Gloucester. It had cost £250,000.
Initially the Pavilion's main auditorium was not called a theatre, but a Concert Hall, and within a few years it became apparent that it has had shortcomings in presenting staged productions. As a result, in 1933 the stage was enlarged, both in depth and height, and it was reopened as a theatre in July 1934. Numerous further alterations have been undertaken since, including the addition of two storeys to either side of the main entrance in the early 1950s, and the replacement of the large fountain in the forecourt by a smaller one in 1968. In 1998 the building was listed Grade II and its future has therefore been protected.
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