Syndicate Blackpool - History - ABC Theatre

ABC Theatre

The building was originally an ABC theatre and then cinema. The former Hippodrome Theatre was bought by Associated British Cinemas (ABC) in April 1929. They planned to rebuild it in 1939, which was halted by the outbreak of World War II. The theatre closed in 1960. Most of the building was then demolished and the new ABC Theatre was built in the shell of the old building with stalls and circle seating with a capacity of 1,934. It also had a permanent revolving stage.

The ABC Theatre opened on 31 May 1963 with the Holiday Carnival summer season stage show which starred Cliff Richard and The Shadows. It was used for stage shows during the summer months with films and concerts in the winter. ABC Weekend Television televised their "Blackpool Night Out" show from the theatre which starred the likes of Freddie Davies, Mike & Bernie Winters and Pearl Carr & Teddy Johnson.

The Beatles played a concert there in 1963 and in August 1965 they played at the "Blackpool Night Out" on ABC Weekend Television. It was the first time they had played the song "Yesterday" on British television and the gig has become popular on the video sharing website YouTube. Four songs they sang live at the gig appeared on the Anthology 2 compilation album in 1996 - "I Feel Fine", "Ticket to Ride", "Yesterday" and "Help!". The Beatles were also shown singing "Help" at the ABC in Episode four of the 1995 The Beatles Anthology documentary series.

The summer shows starred the likes of Frank Ifield, Cilla Black, Morcambe and Wise, and Tommy Steele.

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