03 December 2011
Once a wonderful Victorian complex of gardens, ballroom, theatre and cafés, the Grade II* Winter Gardens in Morecambe majestically graces the town’s seafront as a fine example of our entertainment heritage.
Sadly neglected over the years, it’s slowly being restored by a committed team of volunteers. If you were to step inside today you’d find the former Victoria Pavilion Theatre as breathtaking as it must have been when it opened in 1897. Typical of the extravagant architecture of entertainment buildings in Victorian seaside towns, it was magnificently decorated inside and out, designed by Mangnall & Littlewood with the celebrated theatre specialist Frank Matcham.
If you’re ever visiting Morecambe do look up the Morecambe Winter Gardens Preservation Trust. More information and details of their open days can be found on their website, facebook and twitter @MorecambeWG
There are many thousands of other theatre treasures to discover – working theatres, converted theatres, and still more hidden away, not in use, perhaps with only little fragments of a balcony or writing on the outside wall remaining to remind us that a theatre once lived there.
As the national body protecting theatres, The Theatres Trust has information on more than 3,500 theatres across the UK and we profile theatres under threat through our annual Theatres Buildings at Risk Register.
There must be a theatre in your neighbourhood waiting to be discovered… If you want to go exploring and find other theatres visit the Trust’s website and follow us on twitter @theatrestrust @exploretheatres and facebook.
Post by Mhora Samuel, Director, The Theatres Trust.
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