Exciting details about Blackpool’s first museum have been officially revealed
The £13m museum, 'SHOWTOWN' aims to celebrate Blackpool’s internationally significant story as the UK’s most popular seaside destination, along with its role in the development of British popular culture.
Blackpool's first museum 'Showtown' is anticipated to open in 2021 and will be located in Blackpool’s first five star hotel ‘Sands Venue Resort Hotel’ which has a prominent position on the Promenade in the heart of Blackpool, next door but one to The Blackpool Tower.
Open year-round, the museum will be fun, accessible and fully-immersive, filled with objects, film, music and performance – mixing the best experiences of museums and visitor attractions. It will also give visitors an opportunity to look behind the scenes at what it took to make Blackpool special.
The museum will be divided into six themes:
Beside the Seaside: The story of how Blackpool became symbolic of the British seaside holiday both at home and abroad and why people flocked to the town.
How’s Tricks?: Discover Blackpool’s long history as an important centre for magic, illusion and fortune telling.
It’s Showtime: Features comedy, music, dance performance, magic and other speciality acts that put Blackpool on the map and turned the seaside resort into a capital of show business.
It’s Better with the Lights On: Discover the stories behind the making of one of the world’s greatest light attractions – Blackpool Illuminations.
Everybody Dance Now: Find out how Blackpool became the spiritual home of ballroom dance and continues to host the biggest international dance festival in the world.
Roll Up! Roll Up!: A celebration of Blackpool’s international role in circus and home to the Tower Circus.
Objects on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum include much loved comedian and entertainer Tommy Cooper’s headtwister illusion magic trick and costumes worn by comedy stars Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise. A rare signed black bowler hat which was owned by film and comedy star Stan Laurel and acquired by Blackpool Council will also be on view.
It doesn't stop there either! Items will also be showcased from Blackpool Council’s The Blackpool Tower and Winter Gardens Archive – the largest collection of entertainment history in the town exploring its 125 year circus history with posters and incredible photographs.
It is projected that Showtown will attract about 300,000 local, regional, national and international visits each year; engage with 7,500 local school children annually; create around 40 FTE jobs and 20 training placements and play a critical role in Blackpool’s re-imagining for the 21st Century.
Artist's Impression Image: Casson Mann
Circus Playbill Image: Blackpool Council Heritage Service