With a packed dancefloor welcoming a host of well-known acts and multiple bars and restaurants, Weymouth Pavilion was the place to be in the town in terms of entertainment during the 1960s.  

Originally built in 1908, the Pavilion was taken over by the military where it was used to manage thousands of allied forces that were using the port in the Second World War.

The site was damaged during the war, and during repairs, the building set on fire.  After the council put in a successful claim for insurance, a whole new site was built.

Dorset Echo:

Unearthed pictures courtesy of a tourist guide for Weymouth that was printed around 1965 in Winton, Bournemouth shows what the ‘new’ Weymouth Pavilion looked like during its golden age.

Dorset Echo: The Pavilion reopened its doors in 1960 and was the hub of the seaside town as it welcomed huge numbers of tourists spending their summer basking in the Weymouth sun.

The building incorporated a theatre, ballroom, restaurant, roof garden, licensed bars, whilst commanding spectacular views of Weymouth Bay.

Famous bands featured on the stage with a packed dancefloor in the ballroom during the summer season. The ballroom, now known as the Ocean Room, still has the same maple dance floor that was opened by mayor and mayoress Mr and Mrs Edgar Wallis.

Dorset Echo: During the period bands such as Pink Floyd, who rocked up to the Pavilion on October, 13 1967, performed in front of a full house.

English comedian Benny Hill performed at the reopening of the Pavilion in 1960. His photograph was taken by Graham Herbert at Weymouth Pavilion in 1960.

Dorset Echo: Star Hughie Green also took to the stage in the era.  

Dorset Echo: Music Hall Tavern Nights were hugely popular in the Pavilion during the era, with locals packing the hall to watch the stars perform. Conferences were also held in the building. 

Weymouth Pavilion also had an annual summer show, where celebrity concerts with famous stars of the stage, TV and radio would attend, whilst orchestras, operas and stage plays would also be performed in this entertainment hub.

Dorset Echo: There were also deck bars on the Promenade side, with a fully licenced bar downstairs.

Dorset Echo: Later on in the decade, successful business couple Godfrey Chapman and his wife Liz held fashion shows at the pavilion, using students from Weymouth College. 

What are your memories from the Pavilion during this era? Who did you go out and see?