The Georgian Theatre Royal in Richmond has launched a fundraising appeal to save it from closure.
The grade-I listed building, which was built in 1788, needs more than £100,000 to secure its future.
Malcolm Bryant, the venue’s chairman, said that declining ticket and bar sales as a result of the recession now means the theatre is “financially right up against it”.
He said that for the first time in a number of years the North Yorkshire venue has had to use its reserves to remain open for this financial year.
“This is a very genuine appeal, we need this additional income in order to keep going,” said Bryant.
The 214-seat theatre, which hosts amateur and professional shows including Shakespeare’s Globe touring productions, has had its funding from local authorities and charitable trusts reduced in recent years.
Bryant said: “We’ve managed in the past to generate about 70% of our annual budget from income. We are a successful organisation but we do only have about 200 seats and it’s impossible to keep going on ticket and bars sales alone. We’ve always had to rely on support from other sources.”