Garrick Theatre

Lord Street,
Southport, PR8 1RR

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Garrick Theatre

After the Opera House burned down in 1929, the site was cleared and George E. Tonge prepared plans for a new theatre which opened on 19th December 1932. It was, and remains, a glorious exercise in Art Deco style, inside and out.

Situated on the premiere Southport thoroughfare of Lord Street, the Garrick Theatre initially operated as a live venue only. In 1957 it was sold to the Essoldo Cinemas group and the follow-spot box was converted into a projection suite and films commenced.

The theatre was well proved with front of house space and had a spacious auditorium on two levels (plus boxes) seating 1,600 (later reduced to 1,500). The original colour scheme was yellow and gold with green and black highlights, all lighting was indirect via troughs except for a chandelier in the centre of the balcony recess. There are four boxes on either side of the stage. The theatre was advertised as the most beautiful in Europe upon opening.

The stage was particularly large, and was designed to accommodate touring drama, musicals opera and ballet. The proscenium arch was 50 feet wide.

The Garrick Theatre continued to present live shows in addition to films after 1957, until 16th November 1963 it was closed with the film “Tom Jones”, and converted into a Lucky 7 bingo club (later Top Rank and Mecca).

Logic would suggest that the Garrick Theatre be returned to theatre use and the single floored Southport Theatre be turned into a modern bingo hall for Mecca – to the benefit of both parties!

In 2007, the former Garrick Theatre was designated a Grade II Listed building by English Heritage.

Contributed by Ian Grundy

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Ian on January 7, 2008 at 7:43 am

Just to avoid confusion the Palace/Classic/Cannon/ABC, also in Lord Street, was briefly called the Essoldo from 1971 to c1972.

Photos taken in 1996 here:–

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Ian on January 7, 2008 at 11:17 am

I have just learned that the former Garrick was listed by English Heritage in 2007.

Ian on February 28, 2008 at 4:08 pm

Another exterior taken shortly after conversion to the Lucky Seven Bingo Club:–

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Eric Evans
Eric Evans on April 13, 2012 at 9:50 am

2 new photos, photographed on Easter Monday 2012. It was a very wet day, which accounts for the “blob” on the picture which I did not notice on the camera’s screen.

Online Bingo
Online Bingo on December 29, 2012 at 2:30 am

At night – 2007:)

irishdream on December 22, 2013 at 10:43 am

What happend to this building? Is still Mecca Bingo in this theatre? You can play this online like .

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