The Mouth – Bournemouth – Poole – Christchurch

Academy Music Group completes acquisition of the Opera House, Bournemouth extending venue platform to the South Coast

Academy Music Group (AMG), whose shareholders include Live Nation, SJM Concerts and Metropolis Music, announced today that it had completed the acquisition of the Opera House in Bournemouth, following the successful grant of a new lease with Arnewood Estates Limited.

A Grade II listed building, the Opera House has been an entertainment venue for over 100 years and boasts a magnificent interior with period features, including the proscenium arch, art-deco styling and ornate steel work. It has a capacity of 1,925 and will host in the region of 150 events per annum.

“The venue is beautiful” says AMG’s Chief Executive Officer John Northcote. “It fits perfectly within our estate in both look and feel and capacity. It’s in great condition and we’re looking forward to making some minor operational improvements, but primarily bringing the same vibrant diary of live acts and club events that people expect from AMG venues, filling a significant gap in the market.”

The venue will be renamed O2 Academy Bournemouth from September. AMG began a long-term partnership with O2 at the beginning of 2009 and customers can enjoy benefits such as priority access to gig tickets at O2 Academy venues across the country. “AMG continues to go from strength to strength and with the addition of O2 Academy Bournemouth, we’ll be giving O2 customers on the South Coast an opportunity to benefit from Priority Tickets at a venue close to them,” said Mark Stevenson, Head Of Sponsorship at O2.

The Opera House originally opened as The Grand Pavilion Theatre in 1895 with various incarnations over the years. It was first used as a circus, and in 1899 became The Boscombe Grand Theatre for its music hall days and The Boscombe Hippodrome several years later.

In recent times it has converted to a dance hall, a Royal Ballroom and was a renowned venue for the disco era of the 70s, club acts of the 80s and the dance explosion of the 90s, where leading UK club brand Slinky chose the Opera House as its home.

Following a multi-million pound refurbishment in 2007, the main auditorium is the heart of the venue. A stunning theatre, there are three levels for seating, plus royal boxes and booths.

More recently AMG announced a majority shareholding in O2 ABC Glasgow and is preparing to launch a brand new site, O2 Academy Birmingham, inSeptember 2009. AMG venues attract some 3.5 million customers every year.

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