Project Details

Across six themed galleries Designed by Casson Mann, visitors are invited behind the curtain to explore, learn about, and celebrate Blackpool’s circus, magic, theatre, and dance cultures – as well as its world-famous illuminations and beachfront – along with all the talented people who have made the town famous during its exciting history.

Each gallery is a testament to the power of immersive storytelling and technological artistry, framed within the broader context of revitalising Blackpool’s cultural landscape through lottery funding and a commitment to inclusivity.




Blackpool, UK


Museums & Attractions


Casson Mann, Coda to Coda, Beck Interiors, Sysco Productions, and Aivaf Ltd.

The Brief

Squint was asked to create immersive exhibits throughout the museum that would tell the rich story of Blackpool in a fun, unique way. Our expertise was required to translate interactive elements, novel designs, characters, and a vast variety of archive assets into a cohesive narrative that ran throughout the six galleries. 

Our Response

Through its six immersive galleries, the museum offers a multifaceted exploration of entertainment, inviting visitors to both witness and participate in the ongoing story of Blackpool. It exemplifies how museums can serve as catalysts for cultural enrichment and community cohesion, setting a benchmark for future endeavours in the realm of interactive and immersive museum experiences.

Showtown Blackpool

Seaside Gallery: An Immersive Introduction

Upon entry, visitors are greeted by a panoramic 15-metre-long screen giving insight into the history of Blackpool, highlighting famous faces and voices, and showing the daily events that occur within this dynamic seaside space, all through animations by Squint. 

The vivid canvas introduces Blackpool’s seaside culture through an animated donkey and seagulls! The characters guide visitors through the whole exhibition, blending high-level narration with intricate details and ensuring a compelling introduction to the museum’s thematic journey.


“It’s been an incredible journey working on the development of these immersive exhibits with Squint/Opera. They are engaging for all age groups.” 

– Jill Carruthers, Exhibitions Manager, Showtown. 

Showtown Blackpool

Magic Gallery: A Digital Illusion

The Magic Gallery innovates with four AV screens embedded in a shelving unit. The gallery intricately combines physical objects, such as dice, playing cards and illusion boxes, with digital depth, including films of legendary magicians like Tommy Cooper and Sooty, creating an illusion of 3D space within the screens. 

Here, magic and technology intertwine, offering a glimpse into the craft without revealing its secrets, thereby preserving the mystery of magic.

“Showtown exemplifies our commitment to pushing the boundaries of multidimensional storytelling, adding to Blackpool’s cultural story through inclusive and engaging experiences.”

– Vadim Charles, Project Director, Squint/Opera. 

Showtown Blackpool

Circus Gallery: Behind the Scenes

Transitioning to the Circus Gallery, visitors encounter interactive dressing tables with two-way, interactional mirrors. A button triggers an edit featuring clowns, a daredevil, and a ringmaster alongside a projection in a circus tent. 

Various films show the history and people behind all the different performers Blackpool has seen over the years, told through animations and archive footage of the real thing! This gallery invites visitors behind the curtain of the circus top, offering a juxtaposition of the performers’ public bravado and their private preparations.

Showtown Blackpool

Showtime Gallery: A Celebration of Entertainment

The Showtime Gallery encapsulates Blackpool’s entertainment heritage. Interactive exhibits include the George Formby banjo, a ventriloquism station complete with puppet, and an interactive audition to immerse visitors in the world of showbiz. Animated showtime posters show the breadth of artists who have performed in Blackpool’s venues over time. 

A standout feature is the animation using the ‘Pepper’s Ghost’ technique, bringing to life the essence of the drag cabaret artists Funny Girls and other iconic performers, fostering a personal connection with the city’s vibrant showtime legacy.

Showtown Blackpool

Illuminations: Interactive Light

The Illuminations section pays homage to Blackpool’s iconic promenade lights with worktop table interactives. This area merges history with hands-on creativity, allowing visitors to engage directly with the art of illumination, echoing the city’s famed light shows. 

Here, visitors can listen to and learn from the creators, design illuminations and discover the history and magic of the UK’s oldest and greatest free light show.

Dance Gallery: Movement and Memory

In the Dance Gallery, visitors explore the evolution of dance through a dressmaker’s table narrated by Strictly Come Dancing costume designer Vicky Gill, and a projection-mapped ballroom narrated by dancer Len Goodman. A curved wall AV allows visitors to place their heads onto projections of moving bodies dancing through different dance styles. 

Squint filmed dancers and created an intricate digital stage, so people could integrate themselves into Blackpool’s storied dance culture. The interactive is also adaptable for wheelchair users to ensure inclusivity for all. 

Showtown Blackpool

A pivotal aspect of the museum’s philosophy was to align with the “levelling up” initiative, aimed at cultural and community revitalisation in Blackpool. 

Squint also collaborated with local schools and young people, as well as those with learning difficulties, to ensure the project champions inclusivity.