Blackpool in the 90s
Home to an ecstatic club scene and the attractions of Pleasure Beach, Blackpool in the 90s had nothing to envy to its past. Still attracting a young crowd, the coastal town was booming with life decades after the rock ‘n’ roll life of the 50s and 60s.
Thanks to legendary clubs, a revamped theatre and even a visit from Queen Elizabeth II, Blackpool was still offering people the best holiday life. In 1990, the Central Pier saw the addition of its new Big Wheel and the town was full of life. Here, we take a look at what Blackpool in the 90s looked like.
By Mark Remmers (Mark Remmers) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Blackpool in the 90s The Club Scene
The 1990s was the decade of rave parties and night clubs. Blackpool offered nothing less: people still remember their youth spent dancing the night away in the town. The superstar DJ of the 90s, DJ Sasha, performed at the legendary Shaboo Club in the summer of 1990. Videos show youngsters having a great time dancing to Italo and house music. The Shaboo Club is also remembered as one of the 10 pioneering clubs of the UK.
The Central Pier was also home to a famous nightclub, called Oz in 1989 and renamed Sequins in 1990. Today, the nightclub is known as Wicked.
Unfortunately, the club scene in Blackpool was not all sparkly. Bestselling author Steven McLaughlin wrote about the other side of those wild nights in his book Clubland UK. Steven used to work as a doorman in Blackpool in the 90s, and in his book, he remembers the drug craze of those days.
Blackpool in the 90s – Music and Films
In 1995 a British-American drama called Funny Bones told the story of a failed comedian returning to Blackpool after his show flopped in Las Vegas. It is one of the most famous film sets in Blackpool in the 90s and it stars Oliver Platt and Jerry Lewis in the roles of son and father. The television show is a great window of Blackpool in the 90s.
Blackpool was still attracting many musicians in the 90s. Electronic rock and punk bands were signing up with Barry Lights’ label Lightbeat Record after it relocated to Blackpool. In 1994 the first full vocal songs intended for playback on a computer were recorded by Blackpool artist Lucifer.
By Henry Brett (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons
Blackpool in the 90s – Pleasure Beach
Back in the 1990s, Pleasure Beach was considered the ‘Coney Island of the United Kingdom’. In this homemade video the amusement park is presented as something unbelievable. The disturbing laugh of the Clown is an iconic background to the talks of the crowd, which invaded the beach. Everyone is seen enjoying the fast rides and the evening lights. Pleasure Beach is shining bright through the night.
In 1994, the Big One was the tallest and fastest rollercoaster in the world. It was designed by Ron Toomer, famous for many more rollercoaster designs in North America. Other rides opened in the 90s were The Rugrats Lost River, Alpine Rallye and the Ice Blast, initially called Playstation: The Ride!
A TV documentary series was also made about Blackpool in the 90s. Filmed during the summer season of 1997, the BBC documentary interviewed the staff of the main attractions in Pleasure Beach. The camera would follow the workers during their daily activities in the park.
Although low cost flights drove people to holiday destinations outside of the Country, Pleasure Beach remained a childhood memory for many Britons born in the late 80s and 90s. Footage of those day show a vibrant beach which didn’t lose its personal identity.
Blackpool in the 90s – The Grand Theatre
In 1994, the Blackpool Grand Theatre celebrated its centenary. For the occasion, Queen Elizabeth II herself visited the theatre. In the 90s, a restoration process had also begun and completed in 2007. Many improvements were made to the Grand Theatre, including having the dome cleaned and repaired, and an annex that allowed a Studio Theatre. Want to read more about Her Majesty’s visit?
Though it attracted less tourists than in previous years, Blackpool in the 90s was still an unforgettable summer destination. The music scene quickly adapted to the new times, moving from classic rock ‘n’ roll to nightclubs, and the entertainment was never amiss.
There are more Blackpool heritage buildings, like The Grand Theatre, than you can imagine. From the Grade II listed old Post Office on Abingdon Street, first opened to the public in 1910, to the iconic Tower built in 1894, the same year as Blackpool’s Grand Theatre. You can read more on of Blackpool’s heritage buildings.
Blackpool in the 1950s
Blackpool in the 1960s
Blackpool in the 1970s
Blackpool in the 1980s
Blackpool in the 1990s