In Deep Purple Story: Deep Purple Mk 3 played their
last UK show here. They'd scheduled the show as part of the 1974
British tour, but had to cancel due to equipment problems. So
the gig was replayed on June 27th 1974 (before the group went
back down to Clearwell to begin work on the second album) - and
is now best known for the pictures of a stripper who turned up
to dance on stage during the set!
Kursaal was originally a ballroom and opened in 1901. It expanded
into an amusement complex in the 1930's but continued to host
live entertainment on the stage through to the end of the seventies.
Being someway off the beaten track for gigs, this side became
less profitable and the Kursaal closed in 1986, with much of the
surrounding site already sold for building. However local interest
ensured that it wasn't demolished and the Kursaal reopened again
in May of 1998 as a ten-pin bowling venue (replacing a bowling
alley at the end of the nearby pier which burnt down in 1995).
14/09/06. The last live gig at the Kursaal ballroom
was Thin Lizzy in December 1977. The ballroom was just one part
of the whole complex (the idea of the Kursaal - Cure House - was
used in Germany for a health and relaxation centre and is similar
to the spas popular in Britain). The complex closed in 1986 and
was sold to build an estate. As part of this development plan,
the facade, dome and supporting walls were retained but everything
beyond that is new build. The two lower photographs (taken by
Audie Philips) show the ballroom during demolition. The flat end
wall is where the stage was.
30/09/06 Last photo here (at the bottom) from Audie Philips
shows the ballroom empty, stripped of the floor, stage, and balconies....
exterior can be viewed from the street and you can walk into the
foyer. If you want to look inside you'll need to go bowling! Some
of the building is still empty but it is planned to add extra
top picture shows what was originally the cinema, then after that
a function suite. The actual ballroom was another part of the
same complex. In the picture of the foyer the ballroom would be
off to the right, and the other hall (ex-cinema now 10 pin bowling)
to the left. Thanks to Audie Philips for the extra information.
the main seafront in Southend.
the pics to enlarge
pictures: Mike Garrett. Live picture: D.Zill / DPAS