Today marks 50 years since the opening of Margate’s Bali Hai bar

Inside the Bali Hai

Fifty years ago today the legendary Bali Hai bar opened at Dreamland.

It was 1967 and The Bee Gees were top of the UK charts with Massachusetts, fashion was a hotch potch of flower power and Mods, Bond movie You Only Live Twice was on the big screen while Z Cars and It’s A Knockout were on the TV.

DJs at the club included Mick Tee – later to become Margate mayor and still a Thanet councillor – John Lawrence, Graham Twyman – now a funeral director -, Jacko and others.

Nights included top music, drag nights and even a Sunday Striptease complete with python!

The Bali Hai had a South Pacific theme with  wood panelling and bamboo framed wall paintings. There were Bank Holiday Soul events.

Upstairs from the Bali Hai was the  Dreamland Ballroom which hosted stars including  The Who, The Yardbirds, the Rolling Stones, T. Rex and Hawkwind to name but a few (and..ahem…Gary Glitter).

Clive Hart and pals!

When the Bali Hai closed the site was used as an arcade and, later, for the Dreamland Expo prior to the first reopening in 2015.

Photo TDC

Some of the bamboo framed pictures were uncovered when the venue underwent refurbishment this year.

Photo TDC

Mick Tee, who still spins records, as does Graham Twyman, is planning an anniversary bash for later this year.


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