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13 November 2014

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You are in: Dorset > History > Local History > Bournemouth Pavilion

Work begins at the Pavilion

Work begins at the Pavilion

Bournemouth Pavilion

The much loved seaside theatre is 80 years old in 2009, and has had a £12 million refurbishment to restore it to its former glory - the first thing that happened was the demolition of an unpopular 1970s extension.

When the Bournemouth Pavilion opened in 1929 it was declared to be the biggest 'municipal enterprise' ever created for the entertainment of the public.

The theatre is still managed today by the local borough council, and remains a popular place to see plays and pantos.

But its eye-catching Art Deco design was ruined for some with the addition of an 'eyesore' of an extension in 1975 which was the first thing to go when the theatre began a £12 million refurbishment programme.

The offending building on the Western Terrace - known as the Oasis Bar - was demolished as the work to restore the Grade II listed theatre to its former glory began.

'An eyesore'

Bob Bentley, Pavilion manager, says: "The removal of the Oasis bar is basically a prelude to further works later on, and everybody I think has been of one mind, that that building is an eyesore and it's not wanted.

Demolishing the Oasis Bar

Demolishing the Oasis Bar

"It's not part of the theatre's 'listed' status - and you could say there was a queue of people waiting to demolish it!"

The terrace on which the Oasis bar - built to help provide extra space for exhibitions -  stands on, will be reinstated so that the public can once again have proper access through to the gardens and onto the seafront.

Bob says much of the other work on the pavilion are on things the public won't notice, such as drainage, electrics and the improvement of services.

The work is paid for by the developers of the site to the east of the theatre, where there are plans for a casino, restaurants and other leisure facilities.

The development, which has been years in the planning, means that the Pavilion theatre benefits from its biggest ever refurbishment programme and is restored to its former glory - so it can continue to provide entertainment for years to come.

last updated: 23/03/2009 at 12:04
created: 14/12/2007

Have Your Say

Have you been to the Bournemouth Pavilion? What do you think of the refurbishments? Leave your comment below.

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Michael Lunn
The Foyer is beautiful but the theatre interior needs to be restored to its former glory of the 1940s and 50s.

margaret young
the pavilion is warm very cosy when you enter the builing it feels like a theatre not like the BIC thats cold it would have been dreadful if the powers that be demolished the Pavilion seventy years is a long time to wipe out all the entertainers that have performed under its elegant roof the refurbishments are brilliant

Joy Shellard
So glad that the horrible extension of the oasis bar is to go.It would be great if the original fountains were returned and the waterfall into the gardens as well as the tumbling stream down the rockery. I have wonderful memories of what it was like in the thirties!

audrey hodges
there is enough room at the pavilion in incorporate an ice rink,all is being done for the adults what about the kids? will anyone EVER answer this

it is about time that it come down it does just make the building look dredfull.

chris de diesbach
for gods sake get it right. westover rd. was 40yrs ago the bond st of the south daniel neals gales hairdressers wonderful lunches at the palace ct i can go on and on whatever happened??

ashley pollard
the referb is long over due thank godness it's being dont now!!

Alexander L Hodges
Shame that they did not re-furbish the Winter Gardens to its forme glory

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