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Published by: Kirstie Niland on 23rd Jan 2018 | View all blogs by Kirstie Niland

The Winter Gardens Open Day, this Saturday, will feature an exciting programme of events, including Frank Sinatra’s Live at the Opera House 1953.

Frank Sinatra appeared only twice in Blackpool, on 16th July 1950 and on 26th July 1953, both times in Sunday concerts at the Opera House. For the first time since, there will be the opportunity to hear in its original setting, his 1953 performance, which had been recorded privately.

 

The hour-long recording will begin at 1pm, in between demonstrations of the Wurlitzer organ. You will be able to sit in the auditorium and try to imagine that you are there back in 1953 listening to Frank Sinatra live.

Doors open for the 2018 events at 11am to the wonderful sounds of the much-loved Wurlitzer Organ playing live in the Opera House. Further events will run throughout the day, with resident pianist, Brant Nuttall playing in the Mazzei Café and afternoon tea served in the Empress Grill from just £9.50 per person.

A slideshow of historical posters and programmes, will be shown in the Pavilion Theatre, taking guests on a journey back in time, bringing to life bygone days of Blackpool’s most magnificent venue – Guests will also have the opportunity to learn more about the restorations taking place and new conference and exhibition centre currently in development.

Throughout the day, guests can explore every nook and cranny of the world-famous grade 2* listed building during this exclusive access all areas event: treading the Opera House boards and viewing rooms where stars and world leaders have gone before them.

Resident experts Ted and Anne Lightbown will be on hand in the Floral Hall to answer questions about the illustrious building’s 140-year history.

The event offers the opportunity for guests to view the 3,000 capacity Empress Ballroom, which has played host to countless party conferences and politicians; and to marvel at areas such as the stunning Spanish Hall suite with its lavish courtyard, reminiscent of a 1930s Hollywood film set along with the other many halls, suites and hidden areas normally closed to the public.

Blackpool's Winter Gardens first opened to the public on 11 July 1878, with a lavish ceremony attended by the Lord Mayor of London and Mayors and Mayoresses from 68 towns throughout the country. Today the venue is home to over 20 unique and breathtaking spaces, and a hive of activity for concerts, plays, national theatre tours, business lunches, exhibitions, weddings and conferences.

Last year’s open day welcomed thousands through the doors. This year’s takes place this Saturday 27th January 2018 from 11am – 3pm. The event is FREE of charge but donations to the Winter Gardens Trust are welcomed.

Photographs courtesy of Winter Gardens Blackpool

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