If, as they say, life begins at 40 then Lighthouse can look forward to a very lively time indeed because our first four decades have been an absolute blast!   

Lighthouse first opened its doors as Poole Arts Centre on 1 April 1978. It was quite unlike anything the region had seen before and although the need for a cultural hub of such scope had been identified nobody was certain how it would be received.

To celebrate this amazing leap of faith we’re hosting the first of four Turn Back Time weeks and partying like it’s 1978. Tomorrow (Thursday 29 March) we are kicking off our birthday celebrations with a staff fancy dress day – 70s all the way - so if you are paying us a visit prepare to see a few hippies, disco queens, rockers and punks!

Also tomorrow we welcome the BBC not once, but twice! It's going to be a very busy but fun-filled day and we hope you can tune in to share these moments with us. 

In the morning we welcome BBC Radio Solent's Breakfast in Dorset show with Steve Harris, which will be on air from 6.30am until 9am. We've got a selection of guests lined up to tell you all about our birthday celebrations, take a nostalgic dip into our 40 year hstory and talk about what the future might hold for us here at the UK's largest regional arts centre.

Then in the evening from 6.30pm you'll be able to watch a feature on our Turn Back Time day on BBC South Today who will be joining us as staff raise a glass to 40 years of Lighthouse with a 70s themed buffet. We're putting flowers in our hair and dressing in flares, pointy collars, kipper ties and boho dresses and grooving to 70s tunes - all in the name of birthday fun!

The celebrations will continue throughout the year with a 40th anniversary beer brewed by Palmers available to order at the Lighthouse bars. Give it a try - it's delicious.

There will also be a chance to win some fantastic prizes courtesy of New Forest Ice Cream if you find one of 40 specially stickered ice cream tubs on your next visit.

Direct from the West End, on 6 April we welcome You Win Again the ultimate Bee Gees tribute.

We’re also kicking off the first of our Cult Classics film weeks showing the hits of 1978 with The Deer Hunter (18), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (PG), The Last Waltz (U), Death on the Nile (PG), Saturday Night Fever (18) and Watership Down (U) all at the 1978 price of £1.30.  In the coming months we’ll be featuring the best films of 1988, 1998 and 2008 - keep your eyes peeled for these on our website and in our Film guide.

Published 28 March 2018