Fifty years ago to the day when The Beatles played the Winter Gardens in Bournemouth, the town’s newest dining experience was officially opened by the Mayor of Bournemouth, Cllr Dr Rodney Cooper.
The Bournemouth Rock Café is home to a unique collection of rock and pop memorabilia associated with nearly 60 years of music history in the town. The Beatles’ Room is dedicated to the many connections that link the Fab Four to the resort, including the Winter Gardens’ shows on 16 November 1963 that were filmed by American TV news crews and resulted in the first footage of The Beatles to be shown on US television – three months before the famous Ed Sullivan Show on February 1964.
Cutting the ribbon, the Mayor of Bournemouth said: “I can’t wait to come back here time and time again, there’s so much history on show and so many fascinating stories that relate to it.”
Nick Churchill, author of Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Beatles & Bournemouth, added: “At last Bournemouth has a permanent reminder of the unique place the town occupies in Beatles history.”
The Beatles played more shows at the Gaumont in Bournemouth than in any other British theatre outside of London, notching up 16 shows in 14 months from August 1963.
On the evening of the release of ‘She Loves You’ on 23 August 1963, Robert Freeman photographed The Beatles at the Palace Court Hotel in Bournemouth and produced the iconic half-shadow image that appeared on their second album sleeve.

The Beatles also played the Winter Gardens on their autumn 1963 tour just as Beatlemania gripped the nation. A little less than two years later John bought a home at Sandbanks for his beloved Aunt Mimi and became a frequent visitor to the shores of Poole Harbour before leaving for New York in 1971.

The Beatles’ connection to the area runs through the exhibitions at the Bournemouth Rock Café, even as far as its music-themed menu which showcases a specialist range of gourmet burgers made from locally sourced, fresh ingredients.


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