Blackpool Gazette, May 1901
PIER PAVILION IMPROVEMENTS.
THE COMPANY'S ENTERPRISE.
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
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
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