Bournemouth Pavilion opens its doors for FREE community open day

This spring, residents and visitors are invited to Bournemouth Pavilion to celebrate the magic of theatre, music and film at their annual free-to-attend open day on Saturday 13 April 2024 between 10am – 4pm.

From 10-10:30am, theatre music fans can learn more about the venue’s Compton Organ. Dating back to the theatre’s official open day in 1929, the organ was built specifically for the theatre’s main auditorium. It is now used by musicians who still perform monthly organ recitals.

Acclaimed theatre organist Elizabeth Harrison who plays regularly at Blackpool Tower will demonstrate her talents on the Compton Organ. The theatre’s Steinway grand piano will also be available on stage for music enthusiasts to take a closer look.

The theatre’s projector will be exhibited with short film excerpts to be shown throughout the day on 35mm vintage film. Programmes, photographs and posters from the venue’s archives will be on display in the East Corridor. Children can also take part in a ‘Star Trail’, a fun quiz leading them on a trail of discovery around the iconic venue.

For history enthusiasts, guided tours* will be delivered by local experts and members of the theatre team. Visitors will be shown around the theatre, ballroom, on stage and behind the scenes, with a running anecdotal commentary about the theatre’s history and architecture. Visitors will be able to explore the building’s more intricate workings in the wings and watch backstage footage of areas not previously seen by the public. This includes original stage equipment from the 1930s, the fly floors and the stage loading gallery.

The open day includes a free-to-attend afternoon tea dance. Taking place from 2pm, an assortment of Ballroom, Latin and popular dances will be open to all with live music to be provided by Elizabeth Harrison on keyboard.

Bournemouth Pavilion is operated by registered charity BH Live in partnership with BCP Council.

On behalf of BH Live, Steve Turner, Director of Venues, said:
“Since beginning our community open day programme, we have welcomed thousands of people through the doors to celebrate the history of this iconic community asset that is treasured by so many.

“We are delighted to once more invite residents and visitors to come and learn more about the workings of the theatre including some of the fantastic cultural events we bring to the BCP region.”

Councillor Andy Martin, Portfolio Holder for Culture and Communications said:

 “The Bournemouth Pavilion is loved by many our residents, and this is a fantastic opportunity to learn first-hand about its rich history and experience what happens behind the scenes here.

 “The arts should be accessible for everyone, and it’s really great to see these open days become a yearly event in our community.”

Read more about what’s on at


Notes to Editors:

  • Bournemouth Pavilion’s open day return Saturday 13 April 2024 from 10am-4pm.
  • *Guided tours will run at 10:30am 12pm, 1:30pm and 3pm. Each tour is limited to 20 spaces only and will be available on a first-come-first-served basis. Visitors should ask at the main reception on the day to check availability. Each tour lasts approximately 1 hour and will be hosted by key members of the Pavilion team. Places will be limited, with some areas containing steep stairs.
  • Bournemouth Pavilion has a pay and display car park with 185 spaces including accessible bays. Charges apply 24 hours a day seven days a week.

For more information about BH Live please contact:
Daisy Saunders, PR & Communications Executive
T: (01202) 055629

About BH Live

BH Live is a leading operator of leisure and event venues; a registered charity and social enterprise that designs and builds engaging experiences to inspire people and enrich lives.

Our social objectives are to:

  • Encourage more people to take part in physical activity– by providing leisure facilities to encourage active communities and improve health and wellbeing.
  • Attract bigger entertainment audiences– with a diverse range of cultural and artistic events that appeal to a wide variety of tastes.
  • Deliver economic benefit– by hosting major conferences, exhibitions and events that benefit the local, regional and international economy.

With more than five million visits a year we are changing lives and are at the heart of the UK’s growing social economy.

For more visit

Get social with us:

LinkedIn and X: @BHLIVE_UK
Facebook: @SocialEnterpriseBHLive

About Bournemouth Pavilion

Bournemouth Pavilion is operated by BH Live in partnership with BCP Council.

This Grade II listed venue opened in March 1929. It has a 1,500-seat theatre and full-sized ballroom. The venue hosts musicals, opera, ballet, pantomime, comedy, gala dinners, banquets, receptions, fairs, dances and fashion shows throughout the year.

Its facilities complement events at Bournemouth International Centre and for corporate presentations, product launches, and smaller conferences and exhibitions.

Bournemouth Pavilion is also home to Pavilion Dance South West and the Pavilion at AUB rehearsal and teaching space for the Arts University Bournemouth.

For more visit