The South Pier Blackpool is the third of three piers that grace the coastline in this lovely seaside town. Built as the Victoria Pier in 1890 and opened in 1893, this pier is all about fun and adrenaline.
It was originally conceived by the Blackpool South Shore Pier and Pavilion Co. Ltd. and granted capital of £60,000 to build. The idea was to have a pier at the end of the existing tramway that offered something different to the other two piers.
The South Pier Blackpool is shorter and wider and uses a different construction method than the North Pier and Central Pier. When it first opened, it had its own choir, two brass bands and an orchestra. It also had 36 shops and the Grand Pavilion with 3,000 seats.
To compete with the other two piers, the South Pier was billed as upmarket and differentiated from them. That is something that remains today, although the upmarket part of the proposition was dropped sometime in its early history to be more inclusive.
A carousel was added in 1902 to provide further entertainment for visitors. Then the entrance was widened as the pier entrance was moved back to accommodate the widening of Blackpool Promenade.
In 1911, a new entrance pavilion was added with room for 900 people. A cinema was added in 1918 and The Floral Hall in 1924. The Victoria Pier was renamed the South Pier Blackpool in 1930. Then, in 1937 the entrance pavilion was knocked down to be replaced by the Regal Theatre. This was later converted into the Beachcomber amusement arcade.
Two fires changed the South Pier Blackpool forever. The first was in 1958, which gutted the Grand Pavilion. Another in 1964 destroyed the Rainbow Theatre and damaged the pier itself. Both times, the pier was repaired and returned to its former glory. The Rainbow Theatre was replaced with the South Pier Theatre in the same year of the fire.
In 1998, the theatre was removed to make way for a steel rollercoaster which changed the face of South Pier completely. It became a destination for fun and adrenaline with many thrill rides being added over the years.
Now the South Pier Blackpool is where you visit if you want excitement. The Adrenaline Zone really does live up to its name and is the place to go if you love living on the edge. It is only a short walk down the Promenade from the North Ocean Hotel in Blackpool and is well worth a visit while you’re here.