First time I have visited in many years. Handy place to park behind theatre - but soon fills up... read more
Hi Sue, Thank you for your interest in Margate Winter Gardens. The Winter Gardens was opened on 3rd August, 1911 by the then Mayor of Margate, Alderman W. B. Reeve. The history of municipal entertainments in this country... More
Hi Sue, Thank you for your interest in Margate Winter Gardens. The Winter Gardens was opened on 3rd August, 1911 by the then Mayor of Margate, Alderman W. B. Reeve. The history of municipal entertainments in this country can be traced back to Margate. Margate blazed the trail that others were to follow. It was realised that the entertainment offered by the town to the visitor via private enterprise was generally inadequate. To remedy the situation the Council in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce, formed a Fetes Committee in 1900. The objective was to provide high class entertainment in Margate for visitors and residents alike. When the committee was given power to directly run and own places of entertainment, the ball was rolling and the high point was the building of the Winter Gardens. The site of the Winter Gardens took the committee years to find. By the end of the season in 1910 they had found the central site that was required – Fort Green. The main reason for the proposed Pavilion and Winter Gardens being situated in an artificial hollow at Fort Green was that the existing buildings around Fort Green had a covenant. This did not allow the erection of any building on the green which could obscure the view or light of the ground floors of these buildings. From the time of the plans being approved and the cutting of the first sod by the then new Mayor of Margate Mr Booth Reeve, the Pavilion and Winter Gardens took just nine months to build at a cost of £26,000. When completed the Pavilion and Winter Gardens consisted of: a large Concert Hall, four entrance halls, two side wings and an amphitheatre. Internally, the Pavilion and Winter Gardens was decorated in a Neo-Grecian style, which first appears in the 1830’s. Originally the stage could be viewed from both the main hall and the amphitheatre with the ability to enclose the stage in bad weather. The accommodation was for about 2,500 persons inside the building and 2,000 in the open air. You can find out more about the venue on our website under 'About Us - History' Have a great week.