11th July 1878
Winter Gardens Officially Opens
Contractors Thomas Mitchell were tasked with the construction which at that point had been one of the largest projects that Blackpool had seen.
10th June 1889
First Opera House Opened
In November 1910, the Opera House closed for rebuilding. Its larger replacement, by architects Mangnall & Littlewood, was formally opened in August 1911. The opportunity was also taken to rebuild the Church Street façade of the Winter Gardens. It was clad in white faience in a Renaissance style.
Gigantic Wheel Opened
Empress Ballroom and Indian Lounge Opened
WW1 Sees the requisition of the Ballroom
Blackpool Dance Festival Incorporated
Olympia Exhibition Hall added
When it opened in June 1930, its interior comprised of stalls and attractions themed by Andrew Mazzei in the form of a Moorish village
UK Government requisitions the Winter Gardens again
Third Opera House Opens. An Art Deco Masterpiece.
The theatre erected in its place boasted 3,000 seats, possessed the biggest stage in the country, it was designed in a modernist style with a sweepingly curved proscenium, with the intention of doubling as a super cinema.
Its elegant foyers, wood-panelled lounges and bars completed the effect. Derham’s successor, Charles McKeith was the architect.
The Opera House was opened on 14th July 1939 by Jessie Matthews and her husband Sonnie Hale, being followed by the revue Turned out Nice Again with George Formby.
Over the years the Opera House would welcome some of the biggest names in Showbusiness, beloved musicals and, of course, Blackpool's very own SUmmer Season spectaculars!
Winston Churchill Addresses Conference
Royal Variety Performance
Rolling Stones cause a riot!
The concert ended in a riot – some of the 7,000 strong crowd stormed the stage, after guitarist Keith Richards was involved in an altercation with an audience member at the front of the stage.
According to witnesses, the violence erupted because the crowd had been spitting at the band.
The Stardust Lounge
The Winter Gardens Blackpool comes into public ownership
An ambitious restoration project begins in earnest to restore the most at risk areas of the complex.
Summer Season's Return
Blackpool Conference & Exhibition Centre opens
The venue will feature state of the art amenities necessary for hosting modern conferences and exhibitions, including the latest audio and visual technology.
The Blackpool Conference and Exhibition Centre is one of the largest venues of its kind in the north of England. It is split over two floors, with an exhibition space on first floor and a conference space with a capacity of 2000. With a total 6000 square feet of dedicated space, the venue can easily host large events. It is also possible to utilise the space in conjunction with the other venues throughout the Winter Gardens complex, giving a total event capacity of 7000.