History of Leas Cliff Hall

Opened in 1927

Seated 900

Standing 1,500

Before Leas Cliff Hall…

Before Leas Cliff Hall came to exist, The Leas Shelter was constructed in 1894. The Shelter was an immensely popular spot for locals and those enjoying a seaside holiday. Boasting a concert hall for over 200, plus an orchestra, The Shelter was the place to be back in Victorian Folkestone.

Deciding a bigger venue was needed…

Due to the success of The Shelter, it was deemed necessary that a bigger and more majestic hall was required. Fast forward just 28 months and Leas Cliff Hall was finished and became a tribute to Mr. J S Dahl, the Norwegian architect. Opened on 13 July 1927 by Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, the opening concert was performed by the Folkestone Municipal Orchestra where 1,000 people attended.

A welcomed distraction during the war…

During the WWII many servicemen and women came to enjoy happy hours in the Hall.  Folkestone was a Garrison town with troops at Shorncliffe camp, and the Air Force base at Hawkinge. The Hall never received a direct hit during the many hit & run raids or during the shelling from the French coast. The Hall is believed to have been a marker for enemy aircraft coming across the channel.

Additions to Leas Cliff Hall

Following the war, life gradually returned to normal and many stars of stage, screen and radio performed at the Hall. Over the years, several refurbishments have taken place, notably the pagoda-style box office in 1981.

The Channel Suite

It was evident for many years prior that Folkestone needed a conference space and that request was answered in 1999 with the building of The Channel Suite. The self-supporting structure was a wonderfully modern addition as no weight was attached to the original building. The breath-taking views over the English Channel are one of the many reasons people continue to use The Channel Suite and is a popular choice for weddings, parties, conference, meetings, exhibitions and more.

The stage is set…

Accommodating 900 seated guests and up to 1,500 standing, Leas Cliff Hall has seen some of the world’s biggest acts including The Rolling Stones, T-Rex, Thin Lizzy, Juda Priest, Paul Weller, Ozzy Osbourne, Status Quo, Motörhead, Kings of Leon, Stereophonics, and many more. The stage has also been graced with Victoria Wood, Ken Dodd, Frankie Boyle, Russell Howard, Jimmy Carr, and Sarah Pascoe.