History of the Arlington Ballroom

The rejuvenation of the former Arlington Rooms sees the welcome return of a cultural hotspot to our area. Re-named The Arlington Ballroom, due to the large singular central ballroom, it renders itself not only as a more accurate portrayal of the venue, but a more sophisticated one at that.

The building dates back to the roaring 1920s ‘Art Deco’ and ‘Jazz’ era. It was originally built as a music hall, where local residents could dance and listen to live music. A popular past time back then and currently experiencing a strong revival today. Over the years, The Arlington has had various owners, changing hands many times, yet never quite reaching it’s former glory days. Over time, it had lost its charm and become quite tired.

Local businessman and former British & European Karate International Champion, William Verner and his wife Susan stumbled across the weary building in late 2012. Due to their family affiliations within the ballroom and latin dancing world they saw the potential to re-invent the establishment and return it to its former dance hall glory. Will and Sue saw an opportunity to attract both national and international world class professional champion dancers to the venue. The thought of putting on events and having a world champion or celebrity dancer fox-trotting past you as entertainment seemed an exciting prospect for the local area.

Before Rstoration


After Restoration

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Will and Sue made use of their eldest daughter Anna, Art Director for the BBC, helping them to re-design the space into a truly Art Deco interior. The notion of a ‘ballroom’ not only harks back to that glamorous and stylish era, but it feels appropriate to take the building back to its design roots too. It therefore uses the glamorous and stylish Art Deco design tradition throughout. The pieces fall into place not only with the design of the interior, but exterior as well. If you look around the local area, you can see beautiful examples of the 1930s streamline architecture in place already, especially buildings such as Argyll House on Westcliff-on-Sea seafront. The family have not only brought back to life a piece of local heritage, but also kept the design heritage of the local area too. The project has been long and arduous one, but the final result has made it all worth while, producing a stylish ballroom and function suite that the local area can be proud of.

The newly reformed space will be the perfect wedding venue. Its glamorous new look will not only sit well as a jewel in the local area, but will be the premiere wedding venue in Southend. Rather than shipping guests out to some far flung destination for nuptials, the perfect venue is now on your doorstep!

It’s worth mentioning here that the food at The Arlington is of the highest quality too, prepared by our own team of Chefs with years of experience. The space also boasts a sweeping staircase up to a mezzanine level, where perhaps a VIP area, jazz quartet or pianist might tickle your fancy. The luxurious bar area and lobby looks out onto the ballroom, and can be partitioned off at request.

The Arlington can also cater for many other events, such as celebrations of any kind, fashion shows and screenings. The space is there to be enjoyed, and can be considered nothing short of an asset to the local area as not only a stylish piece of heritage architecture and design, but a cultural hotspot too.