The gardens were built upon an area of poor grazing land formerly known as Hungry Moor and the upkeep of the gardens was originally paid for by the Clifton family. Ownership and responsibility for the gardens was then transferred to Lytham Urban District Council in 1905 to be held in trust.
The first permanent entertainment venue within the gardens came in 1909 when a bandstand was erected to be used by the Lytham Town Band and later the Lytham Ladies Orchestra.
The bandstand proved very popular, however it was decided that a permanent entertainment pavilion was required to provide a year-round venue that was sheltered from the weather.
The original pavilion building comprising solely of the barrel-vaulted auditorium was built in 1921 and was also named after the Lowther family to continue the tradition of the original gardens.
Coun. Holden stated that the work on the Pavilion in Lowther Gardens was sufficiently advanced to be used in the event of inclement weather.
9th July 1920 Lytham Times
..the first sports and whist drive was held on Wednesday at the Lowther Pavilion. This proved to be a huge success – The whist was enjoyed and later in the evening refreshments were served and dancing was maintained until 2am. A program of delightful music being discoursed by Mr J.Walsh’s Bijou Orchestra.
Another extract from the Lytham Times in September 1921
At this time Hugh Cecil Lowther, son of Henry Lowther, was the 5th Earl of Lonsdale and head of the family. He was a colourful character both literally and figuratively and was known as the ‘Yellow Earl’ due to his love of all things yellow.
He continued this affiliation when he founded the Automobile Associaion (AA) which adopted a ‘Lowther Yellow’ colour for their livery which remains this colour to this day.
The original pavilion soon proved to be too small and so an extension to form a cafe overlooking the gardens was added in 1922 on the easterly side together with a stage house and dressing room facilities.
This extension and the original building were built from a timber frame structure with heavily glazed facades to take advantage of the views over the gardens.
In 1928 a fire destroyed the pavilion at the end of Lytham Pier which was the main local venue for theatrical performances at the time.
As a result the Lytham Amateur Operatic Society relocated to Lowther Pavilion with their first production “Highwayman Love” and subsequently called the theatre their home for all future productions to present date.
The venue went from strength to strength in the years that followed and particularly thrived in the 1950s and 1960s to reflect the popular culture of the times.
Bands such as Fleetwood Mac, Thin Lizzy, Hawkwind, Steely Dan & Jethro Tull all played the Lowther Pavilion in the 1960’s and 70’s as the venue was considered popular on the music circuit at the time whereby the seats were removed and the auditorium used as a flat floor concert venue.
By the early 1970s, in common with many other similar facilities, attendances were down and the theatre faced an uncertain future with demolition even being discussed.
1976 the Lytham Express stated that:
“Fylde Councillors called on Thursday for an emergency meeting to discuss the uncertain future of Lytham’s Lowther Pavilion”