Gazette campaign keeps Blackpool theatre open

The Gazette in Blackpool has won its campaign to keep the resort's North Pier theatre open over the summer.

The paper launched its "Save Our Shows" campaign after the pier's owners announced the venue would be closed over the summer, after 129 years of performances.

But The Gazette hit back with a series of front-page pieces and The Gazette's website, blackpooltoday.co.uk, carried readers' suggestions of what entertainment they would pay to see at the theatre.

Celebrities including Little Britain star David Walliams also supported the campaign.

As a result, three weekly shows have been booked from next month, starting appropriately with Viva Las Vegas.

Gazette editor David Helliwell said: "While everyone accepts that tastes change and times move on, it seemed a crying shame that such a historic building, that has played host to some of comedy's greatest names, would not be welcoming audiences this summer.

"If that had happened, then it might never have reopened and maybe the financial viability of the whole pier would be in jeopardy.

"We are delighted that readers backed the campaign and that the pier's owners were big enough to have a rethink."

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