Winter Gardens




Blackpool Winter Gardens is a complex of venues in the centre of the resort.  It was first opened in 1878, although much of the building dates from the 1930’s.  The objective was to provide indoor entertainment particularly in winter.  The original design was an extremely ambitious project and envisaged that the complex would contain an entire range of activities, including: concert pavilion, promenade, library, picture gallery, croquet lawns, aviaries and several other facilities.  It cost a hundred thousand pounds to build which is getting on for £50 million at modern rates.  Throughout much of its history Blackpool Winter Gardens has been perhaps chiefly known as a political conference centre – it is said that every Prime minister since 1945 has spoken to gatherings at the building.  It also famous for hosting the Blackpool Dance Festival and as a venue for the annual Darts Tournament. Online booking of the Blackpool Darts can be made by visitors who wish to attend the Stan James World Matchplay Darts.

Between 1896 and 1928 it was the site of the first Big Wheel in the resort.  Blackpool Winter Gardens is regarded as among the finest constructions of its genre to be found anywhere, and with the Tower and Grand Theatre is one of the most magnificent pieces of architecture in the town.  The complex is approximately 200 square meters in area and has an art deco frontage.  It contains several different venues.

The Empress Ballroom is said to be the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ of the winter Gardens, and at its construction in 1896 was one of the largest in the world with a floor measuring 12.5 thousand square feet, although this has subsequently been reduced in area. It has everything to be expected of a great ballroom:  glittering chandeliers, elaborate balconies, and magnificent ceiling. As well as political conferences it also hosts concerts, and bands   such as the Beatles, Oasis and The Rolling Stones have played there. online bookings can be made for Empress Ballroom Tickets

Blackpool Opera House at its initial construction was designed by Frank Matcham and first opened in 1889.  The present building, which is the third to be built on the site, was completed in 1939 and has seating for 3000 people.  It is the largest theatre in the country and presents concerts, plays and shows.  Stars that have appeared there include Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Judy Garland, Jim Davidson and Tom Jones.  It has also hosted West End shows such as Cats. Online booking at the venue can be made for Blackpool Opera House Tickets.

The Pavilion Theatre was part of the 1978 building, although it has subsequently undergone major alterations.  It is a compact theatre with seats for 600 people, and is located inside the Horseshoe which is a semicircular exhibition area.  The Pavilion and Horseshoe can be used independently of each other or in combination.     The Arena has had a number of styles since its construction in 1896.  It was called the Indian Lounge until 1964 when it was redesigned as the Planet Room, and was then given a Roman theme, indicated by the name arena. It can be used with the Empress Ballroom or independently.  The Olympia dates from the 1930’s when it was built in a Moorish village style. It is the main exhibition hall of the Winter Gardens.  The magnificent art deco Spanish Hall is themed as an Andalucian village and is used for banquets and wedding receptions. Both the Spanish Hall and Olympia were designed by the internationally renowned film set creator Andrew Mezzei. The atmospheric Baronial Hall is styled as a medieval castle and can be used for dinners and weddings.  The Renaissance Hall is another elegantly themed venue used for special events and as a cocktail bar and restaurant. 

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