Bridlington The Spa
Upcoming gigs at this venue
South Marine Drive
East Riding of Yorkshire
The Victorian tourists visiting Bridlington needed entertainment and in 1896 the New Spa and Gardens were opened as part of a development by the Whitaker bros. The 5 acres included a theatre, concert hall, bandstand and refreshment rooms. In 1906 the original theatre was destroyed by fire. The current Spa Theatre and Opera House, designed by W S Walker, was opened in 1907 and used to show that new invention, the cinematograph.
In 1914 East Riding of Yorkshire Council took a lease on the Spa and in 1919 they purchased it. In 1925 the council replaced the last of the 1890's Spa with new Spa Royal Hall. Opened in 1926 and built at a cost of £50,000 it was a flagship art deco building. On the night of the 29th Jan 1932 it burnt down though fortunately the theatre was not badly damaged and able to reopen at Easter. In a remarkable feat of design and construction the current Royal Hall was designed by the borough architect Peter Newton and built in 52 days to re-open in July 1932.
Between the wars the Spa provided plays and variety in the Theatre and dancing in the Royal Hall. Herman Darewski was the well-known and very successful musical director at the Spa from 1924 to 1939. After the war the traditional holiday trade and entertainments continued but as the 60's dawned, the motorcar, increased wealth and the package tour brought about another set of changes. The British seaside resort was changing again, the Spa moved from weekly shows and the theatre and dances in the hall to a new broader base. The Royal Hall has been a feature of the British Rock circuit now for over 30 years with many famous artists playing it, while conference and association use of the facilities has increased to balance the decline in the more traditional entertainments.