Lytham St.Annes Coat of Arms
Lytham St.Annes, Lancashire, England


Lytham Pier Pavilion Extension 1901

Pavilion Extension

 Blackpool Gazette, May 1901



  Visitors to the Lytham Pier Pavilion will be agreeably surprised at the wonderful improvements which have taken place since the theatre closed its doors last September. Previously theatrical companies have been under very great disadvantages. They were unable to use their own scenery owing to the stage being too small, and it was with the greatest difficulty that they were able to stage the whole of the Company. But all those disadvantages have now vanished.

  At the last annual meeting of the shareholders, it was decided, on the recommendation of the directors, to undergo extensive alterations to the Pavilion, and since Christmas workmen have been every busily engaged in this direction. Attention was first directed to the raising of the roof so that companies visiting the town could use their own scenery instead of leaving it at the Railway station. Instead of taking 14 or 15 feet scenery as formerly, the stage will now take 18 or 20 feet very, which is the size used by all large theatres. This alone is an improvement which will be appreciated by all who delight in witnessing a well-staged play.

  The inconvenience of staging the large companies was next taken into consideration and it was decided to do away with the passage round the east side of the Pavilion and add the available space to the stage. This has been done at considerable expense, but the improvements will be ample compensation. Instead of a stage 35 feet by 23 feet it is now enlarged to 40 feet by 30 feet. Then again, the opening to the stage has been improved, the present opening being 24 feet 6 inches against 19 feet formerly. To make the alterations to the stage complete, the management have also had the scenery re-painted.

Lytham Pier Pavilion after the 1901 extension to the south side (right-hand side).
Lytham Pier Pavilion after the 1901 extension to the south side (right-hand side).

  The improvements have not been directed solely to the stage. Both the ladies' and gentlemen's dressing-rooms have proved utterly inadequate in the past, especially to large companies. A large room has been added on the south side, capable of holding 20, for the men, and one on the north side for the ladies. The manager's office has also been given up as a ladies dressing-room, so that they will now have three first-rate rooms. Two large refreshment rooms have been erected, one on the south side 25 feet by 15 feet, and another on the north side 33 feet by 15 feet. The old refreshment room at the west end of the Pavilion has been converted into a spacious entrance for the balcony, whilst the tea-room upstairs has been added to the balcony, thus giving accommodation for an extra hundred.

  There is no doubt that the improvements, which are expected to be complete to-morrow (Saturday), will surpass even the expectations of the directors, and the greatest praise is due to Mr. F. Harrison (Messrs. Harrison and Haywood, architects, Accrington and Lytham) for the manner in which he has executed the plans. Now that the public have got a first-rate theatre with a spacious stage, it is to be hoped that they will reward the directors’ efforts to provide better amusements by increased patronage.

  First-rate engagements have already been made including "The Belle of New York,' "My Friend the Prince," "Nell Gwynne," "The Awakening" (a new play which is just going on tour from the St. James' Theatre, London), "La Poupee," "Why Smith left Home," " A Royal Divorce," and " Florodora." Mr. Harrison is also very anxious to prolong the season as much as possible and contemplates starting the band on the Pier a fortnight earlier than usual. Such spirited enterprise should he welcomed both by visitors and residents, and as the season progresses we hope to find that Mr. Harrison, the manager, is thoroughly satisfied.


  Mr. Harrison has made a capital re-opening engagement. "The Skirt Dancer" is just the sort of piece that Lytham people and holidaymakers enjoy. It is written by Mr. Trotere, the composer of a number of favourite songs, and is said to be one of the best musical comedies running to-day. The musical tit-bit of the piece is a quartette "Plantation (odd) ditties," whilst the fun is fast and furious. Three hours of genuine fun and dainty music are guaranteed patrons of the Pavilion on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings next week. The Merrions, Will, Harry and Fred, are announced for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Mr. Kingston, of the Minstrel Troupe, has secured the services of Bertino, the greatest of all wizards, and together with an enormous company of artistes will occupy the Pavilion to-morrow evening.

Blackpool Gazette, May 1901