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Concert Venues :: Starkers Royal Arcade Ballrooms


Now Known As
Date Opened May 27, 1895
Venue Capacity 2,000
Venue URL
Venue Address 570 Christchurch Road

Venue Information

The "Opera House" was originally the "Boscombe Grand Theatre" opening on 17th May 1895. Then in 1902 it became a music hall called "Boscombe Hippodrome". In the 60's the building then became used as a music venue called "Starkers Royal Arcade Ballrooms" which was visited by acts such as Pink Floyd, Status Quo, Led Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy, Hawkwind, The Faces and David Bowie.

In 1982 the building had a multi million pound refurbishment and the "Academy Nightclub" was born. The nightclub had one of very first water cooled laser's the first Karaoke bar in the UK. Acts included The Sisters of Mercy, Hawkwind, Brand New Heavies, Courtney Pine, JTQ and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Other acts known to held concerts at the venue include, Deep Purple, Canned Heat, T-Rex, Colosseum, Freedom, Joe Jammer and Slade.

The rise of rave culture in the 90s spawned nights such as Fantasia, Wild Turkey and Parhelion. From 1997 to current day it has been called the Opera House nightclub. In 1997 Slinky was launched which has now grown into an international dance music brand.

The Opera House, which is a grade-II listed building, was closed for a two million pound refurbishment between November 2006 and June 2007. It was officially reopened by Jo Whiley with a completely new look.

Mixing heritage with modern technology, the Opera House has been returned to its original three-tier grandeur highlighting its period features. The revamped venue features a new stage, top of the range sound and lighting system and six bars, including champagne and cocktail bars. The LED lighting system installed produces over 16 million different colour options.

Corporate hospitality is also high on the agenda, with premium entertainment, waiting service and private booths offered. The two grand Royal Boxes which hold up to 20 people are available for private hire. Packages include a private, fully stocked bar, swipe-card security and optional waitress service.

Venue Photos

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