Ballroom glitz: 100 years of Blackpool Dance Festival

1pm, Saturday 23 May 2020, Grand Foyer

Rebecca Antrobus, Showtown’s Assistant Curator, will take you on a glorious waltz through time, right back to the creation of the oldest and most famous competitive dance event, the Blackpool Dance Festival.Using archive footage and exploring the stories of the people behind its creation and huge success, this talk will explain why Blackpool is so significant within the world of dance.

So grab your favourite dance partner and get yourself down to the Winter Gardens.

Tickets £3.
Booking is essential

SPECIAL OFFER:  Why not head in early for a film? Get a ticket to this talk and see Hindle Wakes (1952) in the Art Deco Opera House at 11am (12:30pm finish) for just £2 extra.

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Hindle Wakes

Year: 1952
Running Time: 1 hour 30 mins
Director: Arthur Crabtree
Genre: Romance, Drama

11am – 12:30pm, The Opera House

This is the the fourth (and last) screen adaptation of the famous Stanley Houghton play of the 1910s. During a seaside holiday to Blackpool, mill worker Jenny meets Alan the son of the mill owner and agrees to spend the week with him in Llandudno. 
Wanting to keep this a secret from her parents, Jenny gets help from her friend Mary to conceal her whereabouts, but disaster strikes during a boating accident. When the parents find out the truth they pressure the couple to get married, but Jenny thinks otherwise.
Hindle Wakes’ true star is Blackpool. You’ll see a number of familiar (and since lost) locations such as the Pleasure Beach, Tower and South Shore Open Air Baths and take a nostalgic trip back in time to the Winter Gardens of the 1950s, where you can see the Empress Ballroom, Floral Hall and Grand Foyer in all their glory.

Watch out for the Lancashire mill-workers speaking in cut-glass RP tones


Need to book by phone? Please call 01253 478624.

Blackpool Dance Festival runs from 21 – 29 May celebrating and celebrates its centenary this year.  To find out more about the festival visit: 


In partnership with Showtown. Blackpool’s side-tickling, eye-popping, toe-tapping, mind-boggling museum of fun and entertainment.

WWII talk with Adrian Warrell

2pm, Sunday 17 March

You are invited to join us for a talk about the outbreak of WWII and the roles played by ordinary people on the home front.

Our speaker Adrian Warrell always had a childhood fascination with history, even building a museum in his garden shed when he was 12. From there he trained as a craftsman and began a career as an Armourer working from a shed at the back of Brighton’s Prince Albert Pub. His work has featured, and continues to feature in films, theatres and re-enactments worldwide.

He delivers live and immersive experiences covering the key points of human history, from the beginning of man’s stone age experimentation with technology, to the foundations of modern British society in the 1950s. From the classroom to the castle and many a field, museum, stately home and village hall in between, he brings substantial knowledge and experience gained over a lifetime of avoiding the 9-5!

Tickets available and are limited to 30 places. Book now to avoid disappointment!

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Optional donation the door – suggested amount £2

The Craft of Colourisation

4pm, Sunday 17 March, Circle Annexe

Author and historian Jordan J Lloyd shares the secret of his craft, colourising images of iconic moments from history for organisations and publications such as BBC, Time Life, the V&A and the Times.

About the speaker

Jordan is an author and colour historian based in London, England. His first book, History As They Saw It (Chronicle Books) illuminates some of the most iconic moments from history for the first time in colour, from the sinking of the Titanic to the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Recent works include the cover artwork to the Manic Street Preachers’ 2018 album ‘Resistance is Futile’ (Columbia) and The Times’ Armistice Centenary.

Find him online at and @jordanjlloydhq

Tickets are free, but booking is essential as we have limited space.

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Photo credit: 

The Eiffel Tower’s original red paint can be seen in this colour recreation (Picture: Getty/Dynamichrome)

Read more.