100 Things to do in (and around) Bournemouth 79 – Bournemouth Pavilion

Bournemouth Pavilion is a theatre at the bottom of Bournemouth Gardens close to the sea front. The 1920s Art Deco theatre providing year-round entertainment. Built in the 1920s, this vintage theatre retains its original and elegant styling and is home to touring West End stage shows, Opera, Ballet, Pantomime, Comedy and concerts houses a wide range of shows; plays, music, dance, comedy and the annual pantomime. But to be honest we usually go for a fix of musical theatre, with opportunities to see touring West Shows as well as well as local productions.

Bournemouth Pavilion exterior
Bournemouth Pavilion exterior

Getting There

The theatre is easily accessible by public transport with a bus stop right outside the entrance in Westover Road serving several buses (1, 2, M2, 33, X1, X2, X3) however it is a one way road, so there isn’t a corresponding stop on the other side of the road, so after the performance you need to turn left and walk towards the town centre.

Bournemouth Pavilion interior


Being situated in the centre of Bournemouth although accessible by car and with its own 185 space car park. However, finding a space can be difficult (especially on a sunny day) due to the proximity to the beach. Parking is also expensive costing £3 an hour for most of the year (£1.90 from 1 November). The last show we attended lasted 2 hours 49 minutes, so even if you parked very shortly before curtain up and pretty much sprinted out of the building after the encore, you’d be hard pressed to get away with paying less than £12 to park.

Bournemouth Pavilion Foyer – Calendar Girls


Like most theatres, there are bars for your pre/during/post performance refreshments. Unlike most theatres, you can choose to take your refreshments on the terrace overlooking the sea. You actually also get quite a nice sea view from the ladies’ toilets. You may also get a good view from the men’s toilets – I haven’t checked this out!

Bournemouth Pavilion Terrace
Bournemouth Pavilion Terrace


We visited most recently to see The Addams Family Musical put on by the excellent local company; BBLOC (Bournemouth & Boscombe Light Opera Company). It’s the 5th time I’ve been to a BBLOC musical since I’ve lived here. I have also attended touring West Shows. To to be honest, BBLOC could give your average west end performance a run for their money.

Bournemouth Pavilion – Priscilla Queen of the Desert

The Addams Family

The Addams Family is no exception, and we really enjoyed the show, which was well directed, choreographed and performed by a great cast and live orchestra.

Bournemouth Pavilion – The Addams Family

With a seating capacity of 1500, the theatre is large enough to to create a great atmosphere but small enough to feel intimate. We opted for the matinee which was pretty much sold out. Photography was prohibited during the performance, so here is a picture from the BBLOC Website.

The Addams Family

After the show, the cast, still in full costumes and make up, traipsed across the road to KFC for inter performance refreshments, which probably didn’t look too out of place as it was Halloween!


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