The venue of the Bee Gees' first ever performance may be demolished
7 November 2019, 13:35
A community group in Manchester has launched a campaign to stop the demolition of the venue which saw the Bee Gees first ever performance.
Before they were the Bee Gees, the Gibb brothers took to the stage in Chorlton’s picture house as The Rattlesnakes for their first ever live performance.
It was their local cinema and just down the road from where they lived – but now there are plans to demolish the historic building.
Formerly known as The Gaumont, the site is currently owned by the Co-op who have plans to sell the funeralcare building for demolition and redevelopment for flats.
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In a bid to preserve the history of the building, the Chorlton Community Land Trust (CCLT) have launched their "Stayin' Alive" campaign, and are crowdfunding to raise 250k to save the building and give it a new lease of life.
So far, more than 400 people have pledged over £180,000.
In Australia, the Bee Gees Way honours the band's hometown in Queensland where they emigrated to from Chorlton – but there’s isn’t much marking their roots in the UK.
The CCLT plans to transform the historic site into a community hub to celebrate the legacy of the trio, including art, music, film and performance spaces; a community co-working space; a showcase of local food and drink traders, and more.
The CCLT has until Friday (November 8) to submit a formal offer for the building – which is 100 years old next year.
“Time is critical to save this landmark building – we have just a few days left to persuade the Co-op to change course," said CCLT's Simon Hooton.
"It is an important part of Manchester’s historic music scene so we want to preserve it and celebrate the world-famous Bee Gees and encourage more visitors to the area.”