The Dolphinarium was built at Brighton Aquarium (which was then rebranded Brighton Dolphinarium and Aquarium) in the late 1960s, with the ballroom being remodelled as a purpose-built dolphinarium, displacing Brighton Motor Museum, which had previously used the space. The Dolphinarium seems to have existed until around ~1990/1991 – at this point the general public had become more concerned about animal welfare and sea mammals, and there was a growing feeling that it was not fair to keep dolphins captive in tanks for human amusement.
Exact dates and figures to do with the Dolphinarium seem to vary between different versions of the Dolphinarium guidebook. We're guessing that there might have been some overlap between the dolphins originally arriving and the Motor Museum leaving to allow the construction of the dedicated Dolphinarium.
... In 1967 the now famous team of dolphins was introduced and became an instant success, delighting both old and young,, visitor and townspeople, who return again and again to discover anew the Aquarium, and to watch these enchanting and intelligent creatures.
In June of that year, a major decision was taken to provide, at a cost of £250,000, an indoor dolphinarium, to enable visitors to view dolphins in a modern pool with comfortable seating and other amenities. Easter 1968 saw the completion of this exciting project and it has now become the greatest attraction in the 100 years of the existence of the Aquarium, and is currently bringing visitors to Brighton from all parts of the world.
— , -, , Brighton Aquarium and Dolphinarium, , 1970s
... In 1968 two dolphins were introduced and rapidly became firm favourites with the visitors, and it became very obvious that better facilities were required to enable the large audiences to see the animals at play, and a major scheme to cost £200,000 was approved, and a new building with a pool 80 feet by 30 feet and 10 feet in depth was constructed. Special filtration equipment was installed to ensure that the 200,000 gallons of sea water is maintained in the best possible condition at an average temperature of 72°F. By using sea water it can be certain that there are natural minerals, plankton, etc. in as near to natural proportions as possible. In the walls large windows were installed to enable visitors to see the dolphins swimming under water. There is comfortable seating in the auditorium from where it is possible to enjoy the antics of the dolphins, who almost hourly can be seen jumping, retrieving, and even "singing". As an additional refinement a wonderful water fountain complex completes each session, enhanced by spectacular lighting.
At the same time the Aquarium was also being remodelled. All the tanks were redesigned and attractive rockery and lighting installed.
— , -, , Brighton Aquarium and Dolphinarium guide book, , 1970s
- Brighton Aquarium & Dolphinarium: 1968 - 1990 (ukdolphinaria.blogspot.com)
- Dolphinarium protest, 1990 (theargus.co.uk)