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Report - Morecambe Winter Gardens, March '12

Discussion in 'Theatres and Cinemas' started by drhowser, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. drhowser

    drhowser Bespectacled & irrelevant
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    For me, the Winter Gardens will always be the rock club where my friends and I, aged about 15, used to go for cheap drinks while we waited to rave it up at the (long gone) Empire.
    B&W's are shot on 8 year out of date Ilford hp5 plus.

    The Morecambe Winter Gardens date back to 1870, and were originally a swimming baths, this was successful and grew to become the Peoples Palace.
    In 1896 it was sold to Mr Baker and Mr Abbott, the two directors of a pier company, who set about transforming it into the much larger Victoria Pavilion.
    Despite their initial success with the expansion and theatre, Morecambe Winter Gardens was sold again in 1953 in the face of dwindling business. This time the saviour was Louis Benjamin. Benjamin worked hard to keep the theatre relevant and converted the ballroom to the Dixieland Palace. It was a loosing battle and in 1977 the theatre was closed again. The ballroom was demolished.

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    The Theatres Trust has a pretty comprehensive description of the building, which I couldn't hope to better.

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    In October last year,thieves stole the lead from the roof, causing an estimated £10,000 worth of damage. I don't know if it's related, but in places there is damage to the plasterwork ceiling which looks to have been caused by water ingress.

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    Encouragingly though, there are plenty of signs or repair work when you look behind the facades. There was work going on the whole time we were in there too.

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    The Winter Gardens is also apparently home to a rather unique haunting, with a 'good' side and a 'bad' side. So here's a picture of an unexplained apparition.. :eek:

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    Thanks for looking :thumb

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