Written by John Butterworth
On 9th December, the Chine Hotel was featured on BBC South Today’s ‘Hotels With History’.
This stunning Victorian hotel has had a truly magical past with a surprising guest list of Hollywood and home-grown A-list stars such as Laurel and Hardy, Morecombe and Wise, Norman Wisdom, Vera Lynn, Charlie Chester and Frankie Howerd – plus many more.
The stars would stay at the Chine Hotel whilst performing at the Boscombe Hippodrome. Whilst off stage they would retire to the hotel for relaxation and entertainment. If you can take yourself back to 1930s when the movie stars of the day really knew how to party – with champagne flowing, croquet on the lawns, dancing in the ballroom and laughter on the terraces.
Why Bournemouth? Well, FJB Hotels is a family built business, built by founder, Frederik John Butterworth who’s first love was theatre. Back in 1930s, when the popularity of the silver screen was overtaking live entertainment Frederik, had a crazy idea of resurrecting the good old days of all-variety performances. He bought run down theatres and turned them into dazzling cine-varitey houses where he weaved live acts between films, and to his delight the publics thirst for live entertainment became clear. To this day, FJB Hotels, still owns Boscombe Hippordrome (O2 Academy) and Richmond Theatre in London
Want to see for yourself? The Chine Hotel stylishly displays many of it’s theatrical past photographs in large glass frames, these old black and white photographs behold a variety of legends of yesteryear, many with hand written messages to our founder Frederik himself: even Laurel and Hardy are pictured in the hotel kitchen, comically wearing chefs hats brandishing a frying pan and fish.
Book your seaside holiday at The Chine Hotel this Summer and enjoy a taste of history.
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