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Work begins at the 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.
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
"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
Have Your Say
Have you been to the Bournemouth Pavilion? What do you think of the refurbishments? Leave your comment below.
chris de diesbach
Alexander L Hodges