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Venue has hosted rock royalty

SUPERSTARS: The Jackson Five have graced the Preston Guild Hall stage

SUPERSTARS: The Jackson Five have graced the Preston Guild Hall stage

Preston Guild Hall has a relatively short but incredibly rich history.

Purpose built for all round entertainment and seen as the nearest significant rival to Blackpool’s theatres, it was meant to be fully open in time for the Preston Guild in September 1972.

But a building strike meant some of it wasn’t functioning until the following year. It cost £1.5m to build.

The Guild Hall tried to cater for every section of the community, with a Grand Hall, Charter Theatre, restaurant, cafe, bars, banqueting hall and shopping arcade.

The Grand Hall holds 2,142 people and the Charter Theatre holds 801 people.

The first show, Little Angels of Korea, which opened in November 1972, was soon followed by the most popular – and demanding – musicians.

For David Bowie’s 1973 show, all the windows in the auditorium had to be blacked out to achieve the effect he wanted.

The mighty Led Zeppelin appeared at the venue in 1973.

Elton John threatened to pull out unless the Guild Hall provided two kentia palm trees.

In 1986 The Smiths played a very short set at the venue, when lead singer Morrissey was struck by a coin thrown from the crowd and stormed offstage.

 

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