New Museum is named

Showtown has been unveiled as the name for Blackpool’s £13m museum due to open on the Promenade next year.

The attraction will be branded around six themes reflecting the resort’s unique place in UK showbusiness.

Seaside, magic, shows, circus, Illuminations and dance were revealed on Thursday night as the main elements of the museum at a launch held at the Blackpool Tower Circus.

Coun Simon Blackburn, leader of Blackpool Council, said: “Showtown will join other iconic attractions in the town and will celebrate Blackpool’s rich heritage and its unique place in the nation’s heart.”

Displays will include comedian Tommy Cooper’s magic tricks, costumes worn by comedy stars Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise and a rare signed black bowler hat which was owned by film and comedy star Stan Laurel.

Coun Blackburn added: “The name itself and the strapline ‘The museum of fun and entertainment’ really reflects the spirit and aim of the museum, which is to engage local residents and visitors through fun, laughter and stories, sharing what makes Blackpool special.”

It will be the first time many of the 800 objects, including from Blackpool’s own collections and those of partners such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, will have been on permanent display.
Items will also be showcased from Blackpool Council’s Tower and Winter Gardens Archive including posters and photographs.

Funding for the museum includes £4.4m from the Heritage Lottery Fund, £1.75m from the Coastal Communities Fund, £4m from the Northern Cultural Fund, £1.5m from the Lancashire Economic Partnership Growth Deal and £1m from Blackpool Council.

It will be housed in the Sands Hotel due to open on Central Promenade later this year.

The themes of Showtown are:

Beside the Seaside: The story of how Blackpool became symbolic of the British seaside.

How’s Tricks?: Discover Blackpool’s long history as an important centre for magic, illusion and fortune telling.

It’s Showtime:  Features comedy, music, dance performance, magic and other speciality acts.

It’s Better with the Lights On: Discover the stories behind the making of Blackpool Illuminations.

Everybody Dance Now: Find out how Blackpool became the spiritual home of ballroom dance and continues to host the biggest international dance festival in the world.

Roll Up! Roll Up!: A celebration of Blackpool’s international role in circus and home to the Tower Circus.

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