New images of the Fab Four emerge

The Beatles on the  ABC Theatre stage during the Blackpool Night Out live Sunday TV programme July 20, 1964
The Beatles on the ABC Theatre stage during the Blackpool Night Out live Sunday TV programme July 20, 1964

The earliest known colour footage of The Beatles showing the Fab Four backstage at a gig in Blackpool is set to be auctioned off this week.

The three-and-a-half minute film, which shows John, Paul, George and Ringo at the ABC Theatre on Church Street, in 1964, has emerged for the first time.

It is estimated to be worth between £7,000 and £9,000.

The silent footage was shot on an 8mm film by Chas McDevitt, of the Chas McDevitt Skiffle Group, which was one of the support acts for The Beatles on the same evening they performed

The film will be auctioned by Ewbank’s, which is based in Woking, Surrey, later this week.

Alistair McCrea, Ewbank’s entertainment and memorabilia specialist,said the film footage is the earliest known colour footage of The Beatles.

He said not many people would have had access to colour cameras at that time.

The film, which has no sound, shows The Beatles messing about back stage, chatting and laughing and reading fan letters.

There is also some footage of them on stage that was shot from the wings.

A description of the lot by Ewbank’s states: “One of the most valuable lots in the sale is film of The Beatles on stage at the ABC cinema in Blackpool in 1964, which has been confirmed as the earliest known colour footage of the group in existence.

“Importantly, it will be sold with full copyright.

“It will be sold with a DVD copy, a letter from Chas McDevitt and a letter conveying copyright from the current owner to the eventual buyer.

“It is estimated at £7,000 to £9,000.”

The footage will go on sale at auction alongside more than 100 photos of the Beatles that have also never been seen before.

The black and white snaps were taken by Eve Bowen during the band’s tour of America in 1965 at the height of Beatlemania.

The ABC Theatre played host to entertainment greats including The Beatles, and Morecambe and Wise before being transformed into a cinema and then into Britain’s biggest nightclub, The Syndicate.

The Syndicate closed in August 2011 after nine years at the centre of the town’s clubbing scene hosting up to 4,000 clubbers on peak weekend nights.

The building has since been stripped inside.

Planning permission is in place to use it as a car park with 65 spaces for up to five years.

However in the long term, it is hoped the site will be redeveloped with possibilities including a hotel which could complement the Winter Gardens as an events and conference destination.

The auction sale will be on public view tomorrow from 9am to 8pm,Wednesday February 4 from 9am to 5pm and on the morning of the sale from 9am to noon.

For further information, contact Ewbank’s on (01482) 223101 or email