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Last weekend Blackpool’s Grand Theatre recreated the famous march through the town which helped save the building in the 1970s.
The march saw 70 people parade through the town as part of planned activities to celebrate National Heritage Open Days, which are running throughout this month.
The theme for this year’s National Heritage Open Days is “PEOPLE POWER, Now, Then, Always” and is in recognition of the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre and the myriad ways that people have changed the world, from marches and sit-ins to peaceful protests and rebel songs.
In line with this theme, the march which took place on Sunday, commemorated, 45 years on, an event where people power saved the Grand Theatre. Organisers also looked to recreate the same picture of the march taken in the 1970’s.
Ruth Eastwood, Grand Theatre Chief Executive said: “It was a delight to see so many members of the public come out and join us. As custodians of such a great building we believe it is important for the theatre to be in great shape for future generations. Our work not only involves shows but working with education, health and council colleagues to provide the very best culture offer in the town.”
To celebrate its important milestone this year, a celebration of 125 years, the theatre’s aim is to secure the building for the next generation, starting with a campaign to raise £125,000 to repair the storm damage to the dome atop the building.
During its 125th Anniversary, the theatre is holding a limited run of special access days; ‘125 Celebration Open Days’ which are free of charge. Allowing you to wander free around public areas with a special selection of archive materials on display highlighting 125 years, from the original build through to the epic struggle, and on to the glorious theatre it is today.
Special private tours are available by heritage volunteers. However, on Heritage Open Days these tours were offered free of charge.
Blackpool’s Grand Theatre is a founding member of Culture Blackpool whose aim is to highlight the culture offer in the town to locals and visitors alike.
Visitors during Heritage Open Day at the weekend got to stand on the raked stage and observe the cantilevered tiers of circles, boxes and pit – and the complete visibility of every seat in this atmospheric house.
For those who haven’t been able to the visit the theatre the Grand has also created a gVlog, with BBC Radio Lancashire presenter Hayley Kay, who explored the theatre on a Heritage Tour with one of the theatre’s volunteers. To watch visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJRqKnjJnl4
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