Almost 50 theatres on the brink of closure


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The Independent Culture

Almost 50 theatres in Britain teeter on the brink of closure, and a leading preservation group has urged developers and local councils to step in and save them

The Theatres Trust today published its annual Theatres at Risk register, showing that 49 venues around the country faced collapse.

There was good news as some of the 24 theatres removed from the register this year had been saved, Mhora Samuel, director of The Theatres Trust said, yet others had been demolished.

“We’ve also lost some important venues and I’m very concerned about the future of the 17 theatre’s we’ve added to the register.” These include the Theatre Royal in Margate, Darlington Arts Centre and Croydon Warehouse. 

Among the success stories was the Grade II-listed Wilton’s Music Hall in east London, which was removed from the register after securing funding. Others including State Cinema in Grays, Ayr Gaiety in Scotland and the Conway Civic Hall in Wales have also been saved.

“It’s about the owners and the public bodies understanding the importance of these theatres. There’s a risk that if some communities lose them, they will have no access to plays at all.”