Benidorm Palace will greet its 16 millionth customer this year after 42 years and over 3,500 shows, announced its owner Vicente Climent. The huge cabaret venue and restaurant burst onto the tourism scene on 12th July, 1977 with a show by a Brazilian ballet company.
Climent himself – who was 30 when the venue opened – took over after 13 years and his first commissioned show was a landmark performance with Soviet dancer Rudolf Nureyef – a night Finestrat-born musician Climent describes as ‘incredible’.
“Tickets sold out months before the show, and the keenest fans went along in the early morning to watch this world-class performer rehearsing,” Climent reveals.
With seating for 1,600 spectators per performance, and practically every single show being a sell-out, the current owner estimates that this summer, on the 42nd anniversary of Benidorm Palace, customer numbers will break the 16 million barrier. The venue has hosted the Spanish Song Festival and the Miss Spain finals, as well as major international conferences. Benidorm Palace’s complete renovation in 2005 saw it hosting all types of music and dance events, magic shows, comedy nights and acrobat displays in an eclectic programme that is constantly expanding.
“There are no cabaret halls like this left in Europe, and we need them,” Climent said in a recorded interview destined for Benidorm’s Tourism Museum.
“What else is there left to see on the stage at Benidorm Palace…? Everything we can possibly put on, that’s what, and for as long as we can, because my daughter will take over running it when I stop, then my grandchildren will, so it’s always going to stay in the family,” Climent concludes.