Bournemouth Pavilion

Access information:

The address of The Pavilion Theatre, Bournemouth is Westover Road, Bournemouth, BH1 2BU.

Built in the 1920s, it’s a large detached, Art Deco building mostly built of red brick. The main entrance of the theatre is on Westover Road opposite the old cinema. Bournemouth Gardens are on the west side of the building. The south overlooks the seafront. The theatre has its own carpark. There is a fountain in the car park in front of the main doors.

The car park has 165 parking spaces in front of and to the side of the building including 9 accessible ones close to the front doors. These spaces require a blue badge. If you are road tax exempt you do not need to pay for parking. Everyone else will need to pay and display

You can be dropped off by car directly in front of the entrance to the theatre.

The closest train station is Bournemouth Station. It is served by many local buses and has a well-served taxi rank

If you are coming by bus, most stop in Bournemouth Town Square. The walk to the theatre from there takes about 4- 8 minutes. From the bus stop walk east – keeping the gardens on your right hand side and rows of businesses on your left. Buses offload onto both sides of the road. Where possible it is best to be on the garden side of the road.

There is a short hill out of the bus area onto Westover Road.
There is a taxi rank on Westover Road at the top of the small hill leading away from the bus stops. United taxis are our preferred taxi supplier, their number is 01202 556677. There is a Freephone at next to the theatre’s reception for contacting United Taxis for your return.

If you are on the garden side of the road there is no need to cross any further roads. The walk along Westover road is straight from the top of the small hill down to the theatre. There are trees planted roughly every 10 meters with a metal grid at their base and occasional benches. Some of the paving slabs are a little uneven due to tree root intrusion.

It is likely that the first thing you’ll notice as you come close to the theatre is the sound of the fountain. It is at the centre of a shallow pool, surrounded by grass and palm trees and a low concrete wall. It is lit up at night. As you enter the theatre grounds, a smooth pathway leads you directly to the front doors.

There are three main doors in a line which are propped open before a performance. Behind these doors is a second set of doors which swing outwards. These doors may be closed due to inclement weather. They are dark wooden doors with glass panels and brass handles.

There are three steps up to the front doors. The steps are relatively shallow with a slightly longer tread than a standard step. There are brass hand-rails up the steps between each set of doors. The left hand door is also served by a ramp to the left of the doors.

The main foyer has high ceilings and features an Italian terrazzo marble floor with a sunburst design replicated three times. It’s in a mix of styles from art deco lighting fixtures, to Greek Classical pillars and ancient Egyptian inspired details surrounding the entrances to the stalls. Between the front doors and the inner set of front doors, to the extreme right is a metal relief detailing the opening of the theatre by the Duke of Gloucester in 1929. The letter “U’s are represented by the character that we today use for the letter V. Please feel free to touch the relief.

The foyer is reached by level access through the main doors. The box office is on the right-hand side. There are three separate queues to the box office. There is a kiosk on the left-hand side and a merchandise podium directly ahead. There is also a screen to the right playing clips from the show with an accompanying soundtrack.

Directly opposite the front doors is the Reception counter which acts as a hub for customer information and where you are most likely find someone to offer assistance should you require it. This is where to collect the headset that enables you to listen to the audio description. There is no deposit for the headset but you will be asked to leave contact details in case you forget to return it.

On each side of the Reception is an entrance to the stalls. There are no steps. Next to the stalls’ entrances are long corridors that run the length of the building. The cream corridors are carpeted and interrupted at regular intervals with textured golden archways. The right hand corridor has views out over the Gardens. Adorning the walls of the corridors are leaflets, posters and tickets from yesteryear along with pictures of notable visitors. A picture of the original staff is hung at the top of the right hand corridor. They are dressed very formally and there are a lot of them. Many more than are required to operate the theatre today. Currently our staff wear a smart uniform of black shoes and trousers or skirts, black waistcoats, black shirts and a red tie.

The left hand corridor has a “sweets, soft drinks and ices” kiosk at the top and the theatre bar at the bottom. The right hand corridor leads to the same bar.

The Bar on the right hand side of the building will serve beers, wines, soft drinks, and spirits and bar snacks. The Circle Bar is located at the top of either set of stairs in the main foyer and serves beers, wines, soft drinks, spirits, and bar snacks.

To the left of the front doors is a merchandise stall and beyond this a curving staircase leads up to the circle. Under the stairs are the main foyer toilets. These are down 2 steps. At the bottom of the two steps the ladies is on the left and the gents is on the right. The doors open away from you. At the top of and to the left of the two steps is the accessible toilet. It operates on the radar key system. If you do not have a radar key, you can borrow one from Reception. The door to the accessible toilet opens towards you.

To the right of the front doors is the box office where you should collect your tickets and beyond that another curving staircase up to the circle. A coffee shop is located down two steps beneath the staircase. The door is propped open when the coffee shop is open for business. It serves teas, coffees, soft drinks, ice creams, sandwiches and cakes.

There is also a café on the right side of the building on the lower terrace which is open throughout the day. Along the external right side of the building is a lift that will take you down to the lower terrace where the ‘Terrace Café’ is located. There are three steps up from the lift lobby into the café. The Terrace Café serves warm food, panini, ice cream, teas, coffees, beers and wines from 10 am until 7pm daily

The Pavilion Theatre holds an audience of 1,012 in the stalls, with a further 446 in the circle. There are entrances to the stalls either side of the Reception. These bring you into the rear of the auditorium. The rows run from A to Y followed by double Y, Z and then double Z. The row letters are on the floor at the entrance to each row; black lettering on a brass plate. There is no row I. The seating is divided into three blocks by two aisles.

The auditorium is a traditional style with a large proscenium arched stage. It is lit by 5 ceramic chandeliers. The ceiling is cream and eggshell blue and surrounded by scrollwork and decoration with gold highlights. Floor to ceiling curved decorative panels hide the organ pipes at the front left and front right of the stage. The stalls are step free with a wooden laminate floor that has a gentle slope up, starting at row J which continues all the way to the back row ZZ. The theatre has space for 8 wheelchair users in row G of the stalls, although those who can transfer may do so if they wish. The seats are red plush and tip up when not in use. The Circle has a slightly steeper rake and overhangs the stalls from Row S back.
Access to the circle is via the curved staircases at either end of the foyer. The circle is split into 5 smaller blocks and is in the shape of a horseshoe. The seats at the tips of the horseshoe face sideways looking over the audience rather than directly at the stage. The circle runs from row A to row H. The edges of the carpeted and irregular steps have red lights in them. For Seats 1-39 use the staircase at the right end of the foyer and for seats 40-77 use the staircase at the left end of the foyer. There is no lift to the circle. In the circle a walkway runs behind the back row of seats. It has walls both sides with openings leading to the seating. At the extreme right hand end of the walkway is the gents, at the extreme left is the ladies. Both are through a pair of double doors that swing away from you and then a single door that also swings away from you.

Please note that this information has been supplied by the venue and although every effort has been made to check details, you may still have some queries. In this case, we would ask you to contact the theatre direct for clarification.

Useful information and contact numbers

Guide Dogs are welcome. If you are bringing a dog please contact the Theatre Management beforehand. The number to call is 01202 055 669. Dogs are allowed in the auditorium providing there is space and they are comfortable and quiet around loud noises, flashes and potentially pyrotechnics. If we are made aware in advance we are usually able to facilitate minding a dog during the show.

If you need any further information before you visit, please call 01202 055669 – Main Reception. If necessary, you can ask to speak to a manager. If a manager is not available please leave a number and we will call you back. Operations Manager Rob Noverraz can be reached on 01202 055 670. He says ‘I am happy to take calls at any time but am not always at my desk.’.