Spa hits a century
HAPPY Birthday Spa Pavilion!This weekend the much-loved theatre in Felixstowe celebrates its centenary. For 100 years the venue has entertained generations of audiences with generations of performers.
HAPPY Birthday Spa Pavilion!
This weekend the much-loved theatre in Felixstowe celebrates its centenary.
For 100 years the venue has entertained generations of audiences with generations of performers.
And today celebrations, which have included a gala reception on Thursday and open day yesterday, culminate in a variety show performed by amateur theatre groups associated with the venue.
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Theatre manager Julie Howes said: “We are having a great time celebrating this milestone. 100 years is a long time and the Spa Pavilion has had a fascinating history.
“We have had some great acts here over the years and many people have told us their memories of the theatre.”
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In the late 50s and early 60s The Spa Pavilion was home to a number of summer variety shows such as Hilarity in 1961, Summer Serenade in 1962 and Starlight Rendezvous in 1967.
Miss Howes added: “We are extremely proud to celebrate this anniversary and it is wonderful to think that this theatre has brought so much pleasure to so many people for so long.
“We have a bright future to look forward to.”
And the theatre has seen many big-names over the years including stars such as Billy Dainty, Norman Wisdom, Terry Scott and Frankie Vaughan and more recently the likes of Joe Pasquale, Ben Elton and Frank Skinner.
Today comedian Jimmy Carr is a regular. The venue is also home to the Felixstowe drama festival.
Tomorrow the venue will host singer Steve Pack who will entertain diners.
Originally known as The Floral Hall, the venue was opened by Lord Claude Hamilton, the chairman of The Great Eastern Railway Company, on June 25 1909. It cost �7,000 to build and had seating for about 700 people.
A menu of the period showed that tea cost 4d per pot, coffee 3d and ice creams 4d, all served by an army of uniformed waitresses.
Felixstowe was developing as a resort and in 1928 the Spa Gardens were opened.
For a full review and pictures of the 100th anniversary show see Monday's edition of the Evening Star or visit www.eveningtstar.co.uk
What are your memories of the Spa Pavilion? Write to Your Letters Evening Star 30 Lower Brook Street Ipswich IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
A plaque inside the Spa Pavilion commemorates Dennis Lowe who was known as Felixstowe's Mr Entertainment.
For 43 years Dennis Lowe was closely involved with the theatre putting on shows throughout the year as well as an annual pantomime.