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Fiftieth anniversary of City Hall
THE Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and David Bowie were just some of the names to grace the stage at Salisbury’s City Hall in the 1960s.
In more recent times those, following in the footsteps of these early performers have been the likes of Brian May, Morrissey, Supergrass and Gary Numan.
And the venue has become a popular one with today’s comedy performers, with Jimmy Carr, Alan Davies and many other household names from television coming to Salisbury to play to packed audiences.
This year the City Hall celebrates 50 years since it was opened in January 1963 after being converted from the former Odeon Cinema into not just a venue for shows and concerts and a meeting place for local people, but also as a permanent memorial to those from Salisbury lost during the Second World War.
The building itself has been in existence for about 76 years, opening as a cinema in 1937.
The cinema closed in 1961 and the building then passed into the hands of Salisbury City Council, which used contributions from the Salisbury War Memorial Committee to remodel it as a hall.
Nowadays the building serves not only as a venue for both local and national performers but also as a meeting place, including for Wiltshire Council committee meetings, and is home to local radio station Spire FM.
On Wednesday a celebration event was held at the hall to mark the 50th anniversary, and Wiltshire Council leader Jane Scott, senior members of the council’s team, members of the City Hall membership scheme and representatives of Salisbury’s arts and business community were welcomed to the venue.
General manager Phill Smith said: “Our strap line is Think Live Entertainment, Think City Hall Salisbury - which this year we’ve adapted to 50 Years of Live Entertainment. “This reflects what we feel to be the main reason as to why City Hall continues to thrive in an age where it is all too easy to stay indoors and be entertained.”