Best Local Historical in Bournemouth
Published on by Angela Carlin-Brown
The Pavilion Bournemouth
The Pavilion Theatre in Bournemouth is owned by BCP town council and has a rich history that dates back to the early 20th century. During World War II, the theatre played an important role in the war effort, serving as a military hospital for injured soldiers.
In 1940, the Pavilion was requisitioned by the military and converted into a hospital with 150 beds. The theatre's grand auditorium was transformed into a ward, with rows of hospital beds filling the space where patrons would have once enjoyed performances. The theatre's other rooms and spaces were also used for medical purposes, including the stage, which was turned into an operating theatre.
The hospital was staffed by medical personnel from the Royal Army Medical Corps and treated soldiers who had been injured in battles across Europe. Over the course of the war, the hospital treated thousands of patients and played a crucial role in the recovery of wounded soldiers.
Today, the Pavilion Theatre is still in use as a popular venue for shows, concerts, and events. However, the theatre's World War II history is an important reminder of the sacrifices made by those who served in the military during the war, and of the important role that Bournemouth played in supporting the war effort.
The much loved seaside theatre is 80 years old in 2009, and has had a £12 million refurbishment to restore it to its former glory - the first thing that happened was the demolition of an unpopular 1970s extension.
By BBC www.bbc.co.uk
Bournemouth, Dorset BH1 2BU