Blackpool Pavilion

The final set of photos from the recent Blackpool Winter Gardens visit . This is the former Pavilion Theatre which is surrounded by a U shaped glazed ambulatory or promenade, known as the Horseshoe. The stage house backs on to the main corridor of the complex and it was converted into a Cafe many years ago. As a consequence, the proscenium was bricked up and the wall hidden by some drapes. A forestage platform was constructed and a permanent stage set built in keeping with the style of the auditorium.

On my first behind the scenes visit to the complex, we were passing through the Baronial Hall when olur guide decided to try a door, which he was pleased to find unlocked. This led to the dressing room block and the stage house fly gallery. Here was a rather bizarre sight, that of the bricked up proscenium, the safety curtain chained to the grid and below us, the false ceiling of the cafe. It was bright up there as there was a frosted glass decorative skylight in the Cafe ceiling and this was lit from above by a couple of Sodium discharge floods on Dexion struts. Most people eating in the Cafe would have no idea that above them was a forty foot void. (This was the same for visitors to Newcastle Odeon Screen Four, the back half dozen rows being under the abandoned fly tower there).

Nowadays, the Pavilion Circles are abandoned and mostly draped off. Whilst there is theatrical lighting for the stage platform and tungsten lighting on the balcony front, much of the  downlighting was from Mercury discharge highbay floods so the venue looks rather garish.

The stage left horseshoe, theatre to the rightThe permanent stage setThe stalls area. Note the darkened masked off circle above.The top of the proscenium and swags.The gallery slips and ceilingThe ornamentation above one of the stage boxesA lighting bracket stage right (no lamps or shades)Detailing under the stage left stage box, with flash as it was gloomy here.Close up of the boxThe iron brackets supporting the Circle.The stage right half of the Promenade, Lancashire Rose motifs on the doorsThe view into the auditorium from the ambulatory, guided tour in progress.There are two circular alcoves on the under-Circle ceilingI used this photo before for the Blackpool teaser post. It has a much better colour balance than the others, due to the warmth of tungsten colour rendering.The underside of the stage right Box.A substantial supporting pillar cap near the proscenium