Fun Palaces: the history and architecture of the entertainment industry

Blackpool Tower Ballroom

The Fun Palaces lecture focuses on types of architecture where rich effects were contrived with wit and ingenuity, often by fairly cheap means, to give the poorer classes of society at least a temporary experience of luxury, comfort and freedom.

In pubs, hotels, spas, theatres, cinemas and seaside buildings of all kinds, architects, designers and engineers transported customers from their mundane existence into luxurious surroundings at modest cost by the skilful use of inspired design, innovative materials and high standards of engineering and craftsmanship.

The best of the surviving entertainment buildings of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries offer the interested visitor fascinating, exciting and enjoyable insights into unlikely but successful marriages of commerce and art.

Sites illustrated in this lecture include –