Funny Girls

5 Dickson Road,
Blackpool, FY1 2AX

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Mike_Blakemore on November 6, 2012 at 8:00 am

Have load at picture of the New sales Kiosk of 1953

MikeJC on September 7, 2012 at 8:54 am

From a photograph I am looking at as I write this, the Conacher organ in Blackpool Odeon actually had four manuals rather than two and it was also equipped with an incredibly ugly (well, to my mind) “batwing” illuminated surround. As already stated, the instrument was transferred from the Ritz Southend in 1946. Rumour has it that originally, a large 5 manual Compton organ had been ordered (shades of Leicester Square here?)and would have been installed towards the end of 1939 (thinks: were Comptons way behind with their workload here?). Apparently this mighty instrument had been dispatched by rail from London to Blackpool via Manchester, but whilst the train was left overnight in a goods yard, there was an air raid which destroyed both train and organ. Looking at the discrepancy in the dates, it does seem a little far-fetched and perhaps someone better informed than I would care to comment on this.

Ian on July 12, 2010 at 1:04 am

A couple more digitally scanned images from 1992 when it was still operating as a cinema:–

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on February 6, 2010 at 12:44 pm

The Odeon, photographed in 1985:
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AdoraKiaOra on December 31, 2007 at 10:53 am

So much of this still intact its amazing! Great pics Ian, thanks again!

Ian on December 31, 2007 at 9:31 am

Three more interior images before the Odeon closed here:–

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HowardBHaas on December 4, 2007 at 5:50 pm

Nov 2007 photo with Funny Girls at this theater:
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AdoraKiaOra on August 19, 2007 at 9:25 am

This building looks better today than it proberbly has done in the last 20 years. All thanks to the pink pound.

Ian on August 19, 2007 at 7:42 am

A photo dating to just before the Odeon was tripled in 1975 here:–

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AdoraKiaOra on August 13, 2007 at 4:53 am

I’ll be there again mid-September camera in hand.

AdoraKiaOra on August 13, 2007 at 3:24 am

I trust you had a good evening in the company of Miss Diamond and Zoe Mr Roe. Its a great place isnt it. Did you get to venture up into Flamingos to see the whole auditorium?

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 13, 2007 at 3:08 am

An August 2007 photograph of the former stalls area, now in use as Funny Girls cabaret theatre:

Ian on August 9, 2007 at 4:46 am

This is a photo of the multiplex for which the circuit abandoned the art deco gem that they had in Dickson Road.

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AdoraKiaOra on January 7, 2007 at 7:44 pm

Virtually all the fittings such as the hanging lighting is still there in the new niteclub, intact and used as a focal point to the evening. I could have stood there for hours, actualy i did!

AdoraKiaOra on December 13, 2006 at 3:25 am

You couldnt ask for a better preservation than whats been done here! OK OK its not in its original use but at least its still there! Go to Funny girls and you will see the front of the auditorium wonderfully preserved. When i stood at the back of Flamingos Niteclub which is in the circle area my breath was totally taken away. Even after turning the space into one of the best clubs in Europe i could stand there and see virtually all the old auditorium retained in the clubs use. Original,wonderful hanging ceiling lighting etc. I stood at the very back and thought ‘wow, how big was this place when seen as a complete auditorium- huge!“ Congratulations to Mr Basil Newby and the team

Ian on September 15, 2006 at 8:32 am

Another exterior shot before closure as the Odeon here :-
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Ian on September 3, 2006 at 9:02 am

A photo of the former front stalls area as the new Funny Girls Theatre here :

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Ian on September 3, 2006 at 7:57 am

Photo of the Odeon Tower (and signage) just prior to closing here :

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jbn6773 on April 7, 2006 at 12:30 am

I agree with richyb, I go to Blackpool every year, normally with my girlfriend and other couples. We always make a point of spending the Saturday night in Funny Girls, which is a fantastic night out regardless of your sexual orientation. The show is first class and the night is complete with the optional pre-show meal in the downstairs restaraunt (located rear stalls right, looking from the stage). When you walk into the main area of the auditorium, you can still see the magnificent decor that has been retained. The circle has been reduced to hold a small bar and a couple of rows of tables and chairs, this being the VIP balcony area. Behind and above that I assume is the New Flamingo Club. Funny Girls caters for all aged 18-100 (I have seen quite a few senior citizens inside) and is very popular for hen parties. Any one who has not yet taken the chance to have a look at Basil Newbys very well planned and symapthetic conversion should get along. for more info log onto:

It is far better to see the Odeon Blackpool in this form, than the Grade 2 listed, former Odeon Hartlepool, which closed in 1981 and apart for a brief spell as a nightclub (that never was, it had to close at midnight as it couldn’t get a 2am licence), which now stands almost derelict, up for sale, and gradually rotting away. Even now you can still see the painted ‘Odeon Theatre’ signage on the rear wall of the stage, thought this is fading away.

Well done In The Pink Leisure and Basil Newby.

timmj on February 23, 2006 at 3:41 am

Can anyone help…we are looking for pictures of the Odeon Blackpool..not the outside though (got lots of them) trying to find more of the inside….the balcony foyer/lounge and more of the inside..projection room etc…and if you get the chance go and see the new club and funny girls its spot on….i know alot of “cinema buffs” call the change of cinema buildings many are now bingo clubs which disgust alot, to our own findings, before moving to Blackpool myself and my partner owned a bingo club in Belper in Derbyshire which was also a cinema, we would show anyone around the building that asked (many cinema buffs) most were inpressed but you would get a few that would turn up there noses saying “well it wasn’t built for this” my answer to them was…well if we wasn’t using it for this it would have bit the dust along time ago…well done ITP its a excelent as are all there venues. T.J

Richyb on February 15, 2006 at 12:07 am

I am writing this because I am a gay man who goes out in Blackpool on a regular basis and is interested in the history, and future useage of old buildings. The Odeon on Dickinson Road is of particular interest to me because I go there regularly.
Since it closed down as a cinema it had gone into disrepair, but due to the future regeneration of some areas of Blackpool it was aquired, by In the pink leisure, who already had several bars and clubs in the area, most of which were in the redevelopment area, The old Funny Girls, Basils on the Strand, Flamingo night club, and The Flying handbag pub. The first phase was to create the new Funny Girls,which is located through the front entrance as can be seen by the phots on this link:- . The other part of phase 1 was to move Basils on the Strand, which became Bar B this is located upstairs from a side entrance on queen street.
Mr Newby of ITP Leisure must be respectfull of the architechture as he has endeavoured to preserve as much as he could in the redevelopment of this old building.
The second phase which was the biggest and has taken over 5 years to complete, was the relocation of the Flamingo Night club, This night club has been at the top of Talbot road for 26 years. It started its life as a small upstairs venue, gradually over the years becoming one of if not the largest gay night club in the uk, it is loved by many thousands of people worldwide.
A lot of people did not think it would survive a move of this size, especially into a complex, and no one knew what to expect. I can say I was very surprised by the results, although it has been dramatically changed from a cinema almost all of the architechtural features still reside in the new club, including all the Art Deco lights have been given a new lease of life, and look fantastic.
I feel that what Mr Newby and his company have achieved is outstanding and will preserve the use of this grand old building for many years to come, it will nolonger go into disrepair, and eventually be demolished, instead it will continue to bring enjoyment and entertainment to many thousands of people and the building will be known worldwide.
you can see pictures of the Flamingo and Art deco lights a :–
I hope this is ok
all the best
richy b

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on September 11, 2005 at 8:53 am

Three photographs of the Odeon, Blackpool, the largest of the Odeon ciruit in the UK.

  1. Exterior photo taken at the time of opening on 6th May 1939
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  2. An exterior photo taken prior to closing in December 1998
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  3. A view of the auditorium, taken from towards the rear of the balcony in its final months of operation as the Odeon Cinema (Closed 5th December 1998). From 19th April 2002 this re-opened as ‘Funny Girls’ a gay cabaret/nightclub venue. The former balcony lounge/foyer is now a gay bar/pub called ‘The Flying Handbag’.
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Rick2468 on May 6, 2005 at 8:31 am

The former Odeon in Blackpool is in fantastic shape. An excellent achievement by all involved!
It has been brought back to life and is in an exceptional order. The space has been shaped into an extremely good, useable area, which compliments all elements of the buildings superb architecture and creates a multi functional area whilst retaining its grandeur scale and form.

Rick Jones

rachelwoodforde on January 23, 2004 at 5:48 am

Excuse me, but Blackpool already has an opera house in the Grand Theatre, supplied by the incomparable Frank Matcham, lovingly cared for and much used, for all sorts of theatre including the few opera companies who can afford to travel. There is also the Opera House, part of the Winter Garden complex, a vaste barn of a place, rebuilt after a fire in 1938/9 and still seating about 2000. This is the home of the large comercial shows that can only break even with that high number of ticket sales. Please leave the Odeon in the caring hands of the club: the only reason I didn’t go in with my husband and another married couple was that we simply weren’t dressed smartly enough !