Everything in the Gardens is lovely

Stephen Austin on the Wurlitzer
Stephen Austin on the Wurlitzer
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Vistitors will get an unforgettable behind-the-scenes glimpse of one of Blackpool’s most famous venues on Saturday.

The Winter Gardens will allow the public an “access all areas” tour of the world famous entertainment centre.

The free event will also showcase the Winter Garden’s rare Wurlitzer theatre organ.

And visitors will be able to go backstage to see areas normally hidden from public view, including dressing rooms used by some of the world’s biggest stars.

The Grade II listed building will throw open its doors between 11am and 3pm.

Visitors will get the chance to tread the boards hundreds of famous stars have walked on.

The grand Empress Ballroom will be free to explore as well as the Spanish Suites.

A spokesman said: “It will offer a unique insight into Blackpool’s largest entertainment venue.

“The open day will give the general public the chance to explore and learn of the extensive history the building has gathered over the course of a century.

“We are inviting visitors to come to the open day to share their memories of the Winter Gardens, a building which still boasts many of the original features from when it was built, due to the fantastic up-keep and preservation of each individual room.”

The open day coincides with the second Winter Gardens Film Festival.

Classic black and white films are to be shown at the Opera House.

This year’s festival, run by the Winter Gardens’ Trust with Aunty Social and the Winter Gardens’ management, promises ‘the best of black and white film - both classic and modern’.

On the bill for the festival, there will be musicals, spoof horror, silent classics and contemporary comedy, as well as social events.

The three-day celluloid celebration opens on Friday with a drinks reception and gala screening of 1933 film 42nd Street.

David Gore, Winter Gardens’ Trust spokesman, said: “The main screenings will take place in the magnificent Opera House, which was opened by Jessie Matthews and Sonny Hale in 1939.”