Spotlight on some of Blackpool’s lost nightclubs

Bizness nightlub, Blackpool, pictured in September 1993

Bizness nightlub, Blackpool, pictured in September 1993

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A pile of bricks is all that’s now left of what was once a jewel in the crown of Blackpool’s nightlife.

But the resort’s biggest superclub has been reduced to rubble, after lying empty since its closure in 2011.

The Mecca Locarno, Blackpool

The Mecca Locarno, Blackpool

And Blackpool has a whole host of nightclubs which have suffered a similar fate.

It’s a pattern which has been replicated in recent years and across the country – according to the Association of License Multiple Retailers’ figures, the UK’s total portfolio of nightclubs has shrunk by almost half in the last decade.

Take a trip down memory lane with some of Blackpool’s lost night spots.

And email emma.harris@blackpoolgazette.co.uk with your memories and pictures of your favourite resort clubs.

The Tache - formerly known as Your Father's Moustache, Blackpool, pictured in 1988

The Tache - formerly known as Your Father's Moustache, Blackpool, pictured in 1988

The Syndicate

Blackpool’s biggest superclub opened in 2002 and was one of the biggest in the UK.

The 4,000 capacity, three-tier venue was opened by the Nordwind family, at a cost of £4m, and featured two Stealth Lasers, a 40ft revolving dancefloor and £400,000 worth of sound and lighting.

It attracted some of the biggest acts and stars – including Hed Kandi, Gatecrasher, EastEnders hardman Danny Dyer and X Factor stars Jedward and JLS.

Adam and Eve, Blackpool, September 1974

Adam and Eve, Blackpool, September 1974

Converted from the former ABC Theatre and Cinema, it closed its doors for good in August 2011. The site lay empty until demolition, which was finished last month.

The Tache

The Tache, on Cookson Street, opened in 1983.

It was the only club in town devoted to rock music – head-banging guitar rock, new waves, and post punk. It was based on the original Your Father’s Moustache pub of years earlier in Marton and was once known as Paddy McGinty’s Goat, The Squire and Frenchy’s.

Addisons nightclub, Blackpool, historical photo

Addisons nightclub, Blackpool, historical photo

The Tache attracted rock bands from as far afield as the USA, Norway and Germany. It closed in 2011, but moved to a new home in Corporation Street.

The Palace

Based in the Palatine Building, on Central Promenade, the 3,000 capacity world-famous club was the largest in the North West during the ‘90s.

The £2.2m club opened in October 1986, with a star-studded line-up, including then Eastenders actor Leslie Grantham, who famously played Dirty Den.

One of Blackpool’s brightest nightspots during the 90s, the Palace boasted state-of-the-art impressive lighting and sound systems.

After a revamp in 1994, the Golden Mile nightclub – built on a one-time roller skating rink – even featured an art deco American fuel pump in the middle of the dining area.

Addisons interior, Blackpool, after refurbishment - historical

Addisons interior, Blackpool, after refurbishment - historical

Addisons

Housed in the former Tivoli cinema, above Yates’s Wine Lodge in Talbot Square, Addisons offered a nightspot for smarter over 25s and the resort’s business people.

It later became Wildcats lap dance club. The Yates’s building was hit by a devastating fire in 2009.

Adam & Eve

Based on Chapel Street, Adam & Eve started life back in 1972, as the Time And Place. When it underwent a total refurbishment in 1987, it was one of Blackpool’s longest-running discos.

The club hosted a long-running It’s A Rockout competition. The club later became an Indian restaurant.

Brannigans

Brannigans Café Bar, on Market Street/Promenade, opened in 1989.

It was part of a £3.75m First Leisure complex and replaced the old Gaiety bar.

The inside featured a wealth of brass and wood, Tiffany-style glass and print-lined walls. It could accommodate 800 people.

It closed in 2011 after parent company Cougar Leisure Ltd went into administration. It later became Revolution.

Mecca Locarno

The Mecca, on Central Drive, pictured on today’s Memory Lane front cover, was the “Syndicate of the 70s”.

It opened as the Locarno ballroom in April 1965, describing itself as “an essay in tasteful modernity and elegance” with its plush interior and revolving bandstand.

It combined the technology of a club with the charm of a ballroom.

In the early 70s, the upstairs Highland Room became a nationally famous focus of the Northern Soul movement.

Then in the late 70s, it was renamed the Tiffany and as well as a club, the building was used as a banqueting suite. It closed in 1981, and remained so until a £750,000 refurbishment in 1990 when it became the Night Out Theatre Restaurant. By December that year it had closed again.

It was reopened as Some Place Else in 1998, but closed in 1999, later becoming a bowling alley and the Rhythm Dome nightclub and eventually derelict for several years before demolition in 2009.

Illusions

Once of the resort’s busiest venues, Illusions, on The Strand, opened in 1986, in the old Bunters building.

As Bunters it earned a reputation for outrage – penny a pint drinks, drink as much as you can sessions and even the only Blackpool appearance of Samantha Fox, hired to present a birthday kiss to the club manager.

As Illusions, with its distinctive decor evoking the nostalgia of the 20s and 30s, it again became the place to be.

Illusions was put on the market in July 1992, after owner Find Extra Leisure was called into receivership. In 1995, it was even banned from playing music, after failure to keep up-to-date with its Performing Right Society licence.

It was taken over by new management and stayed open until February 1996, when The Gazette reported “another Blackpool night club seems to have slipped quietly into the sunset.”

Stix

Stix nightclub, was based on Princess Street, in the former Blackpool Borough Social Club. It closed in 1997 and was replaced by The Odeon.

Jellies

Jellies opened in December 1986, in the former Yellow Submarine in the basement of the Palatine Building, on Central Promenade – under The Palace.

The Sub, which was operated as a fun pub, underwent major refurbishment to emerge as the new disco showbar. The name Jellies came from an Itma (It’s That Man Again) character Crystal Jellybottoms.

Heaven & Hell

The first of the Heaven and Hell chain of clubs opened in Blackpool, in 1998, on the Promenade, in what was a derelict building over the road from The Palace.

It was completely refurbished by owners, Blackpool-based Entrepreneurial Leisure Ltd. It featured Heaven, which included pop and commercial music and hell, which played house.

Heaven & Hell was the first club to sponsor a section of the Illuminations. The club closed in January 2006.

Bizness/ Main Street

The club was the brainchild of the Nordwind family, and was based at the site of the old Princess Cinema, opposite the Metropole Hotel, on North Promenade.

The Bizness opened in October 1992 and included music of the ‘60s and ‘70s, live entertainment and disco, as well as a pub/restaurant during the day.

It moved from the ground floor, to the first floor, in 1994 and became The Bizness Club Class. That year, Main Street was created downstairs, which offered nine bars and eating areas under one roof.

The two together offered a capacity of 2,100. It later became the Waterfront in the late 90s, then Sanuk and later Club Domain.

Picture Martin Bostock'Opening of The Syndicate nightclub. / CHURCH STREET BLACKPOOL

Picture Martin Bostock'Opening of The Syndicate nightclub. / CHURCH STREET BLACKPOOL

The Syndicate Nightclub, Blackpool

The Syndicate Nightclub, Blackpool