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Blackpool Opera House in general

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      05.02.2008 21:38
      Very helpful



      a great theatre and undoubtedly a great tribute to blackpool

      The Background

      The Blackpool Opera House has been at the heart of the town for over 100 years since it was completed in 1889. It was designed by the prolific theatre architect who also put pencil to paper for the town's Grand Theatre and Tower ballroom. Both of these are still central to the town today appealing to both the old and the young.

      Over the years Hollywood stars such as Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland and Bob Hope have all performed here. More recently, stars such as Shirley Bassey , Tom Jones, Ronan Keating, Jim Davidson and Peter Kay have graced the stage. The theatre has also staged famous west end productions including 'Cats' and 'Grease'.


      -Dimensions W 30.5m x D 15.25m x H 33.5m
      -2 stage lifts
      -Vehicle access direct from car park
      -Dressing room capacity: 100

      -Stalls: 1,504
      -Balcony: 654
      -Circle: 762

      -General lighting with dimmers & blackout
      -Stereo sound, 16 mic, line inputs & mixing
      -250 meters from the sea front

      -Part of the Winter Gardens complex which also houses shops, restaurants, a café, a bar, as well as a small amusements arcade. The complex also has a number of function rooms and the music concert venue 'The Empress Ballroom'. In recent years acts such as Radiohead, the White Stripes, The Verve and The Killers have all performed here.

      To check out and book current shows you can visit http://www.blackpoollive.com/ which acts as a comprehensive guide to all the shows and concerts appearing in Blackpool over the next 7-8 months.

      The Review

      I visited the Opera House in September to see Billy Connolly on his recent tour of Britain. I would dwell on how funny that was but I must talk about the venue.
      We parked opposite the bus station in the centre of Blackpool as usually parking spaces closer to the theatre are taken up (particularly in the summer due to tourists). From here it's only a short 5 minute walk up to the Winter Gardens, where you're greeted by staff selling programmes and the like. We then moved towards our seats in the Circle, 4 rows from the front. I don't know about the stalls and the balcony, but the seats here tend to be quite small, with little leg room. Although your legs shouldn't be digging into the chair in front (below 6'4), you will always have to stand up to let people pass. Even then this can be quite a squeeze. The seats themselves are comfy with padded bases and arms. You can imagine they are quite old but they're well kept and obviously cleaned regularly. Unlike a lot of theatres I've been too the opera house has a wonderful charm, largely due to the atmosphere inside. The history of the place has been maintained beautifully with the original seats, curtain and architecture all still in place. Hopefully with the future developments which look set to take place the theatre won't ever find itself at risk from a new arena-like venue. It'd be a travesty if it did.



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