O2 Academy Bournemouth is a live entertainment venue in Bournemouth, Dorset, England. It is a grade-II listed building.
The building was originally the Boscombe Grand Theatre, opening on 17 May 1895. In 1902 it became a music hall called Boscombe Hippodrome. In the 1960s the building then became used as a music venue called Starkers Royal Arcade Ballrooms, which was visited by acts such as Pink Floyd, Status Quo, Led Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy, Hawkwind, The Faces and David Bowie.
In 1982, the building had a multimillion-pound refurbishment to become the Academy Nightclub. The nightclub had one of the first water-cooled lasers and the first Karaoke bar in the UK. Acts included The Sisters of Mercy, Hawkwind, Brand New Heavies, Courtney Pine, JTQ and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Other acts known to have held concerts at the venue include Deep Purple, Canned Heat, T.Rex, Colosseum, Freedom, Joe Jammer and Slade.
The rise of rave culture in the 1990s spawned nights such as Fantasia, Wild Turkey and Parhelion. From 1997 until 2009, the venue was called the Opera House nightclub. In 1997, the dance night Slinky was launched and had many years of success there until its final event on 5 October 2013.
The Opera House was closed for a three million-pound refurbishment between November 2006 and June 2007, and officially reopened by Jo Whiley.
The Opera House was sold to AMG Group in July 2009 and rebranded as O2 Academy Bournemouth from September and now hosts a wide range of live music events alongside the traditional dance music events it became popular for.Many well-known acts have played the venue since then, including Steve Harley (as a 3-man electro-acoustic set, NOT with Cockney Rebel)