Blackpool Opera House is one of the most famous theatres in the country, and it is also the largest with a total seating capacity of nearly three thousand people. It forms part of the Blackpool Winter Gardens suite of venues and the current building is in fact the third theatre to be erected on the site. The first Blackpool Opera House was designed by the esteemed theatrical architect Frank Matcham and was constructed in 1889, opening with a performance of Yeoman of the Guard which was then the latest opera by Gilbert and Sullivan. The original theatre was called Her Majesty’s Opera House and construction costs were just over nine thousand pounds. The Theatre attracted large audiences and proved so popular that by 1910 its seating capacity of 2,500 was considered insufficient and a new and larger opera house was constructed and opened within the year. This building was later demolished and the Present Blackpool opera House opened on the location in 1939. The theatre has provided the stage for some great performances in Blackpool including world renowned stars such as Bob Hope, Shirley Bassey, Frank Sinatra, Tom Jones and Judy Garland. It has also staged leading musicals such as Cats and Grease. In 1955 the Opera House had the distinction of presenting the first ever Royal Variety Performance to be held outside London and it was given in the presence of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh. The theatre is a major venue for shows in Blackpool and presents great productions for the entertainment of holiday visitors to the resort as well as residents.
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