Disused Darlington cinema to be turned into theatre
A disused cinema in Darlington is being converted into a mid-scale, multi-purpose theatre able to host plays, comedy and live music.
The art deco building, which opened as the Majestic cinema in 1932, had been used as a snooker hall until the business went into administration three years ago.
However, having been bought at auction in 2013 by a group of supporters, it is now being converted into a 280-seat theatre space, which will also house a 1930s-themed bar and a live music venue.
As well as hosting professional companies, the theatre will provide a stage for amateur and community groups.
David Connor – a member of the team behind the refurbishment – said the building would not be in competition with the nearby 900-seat Darlington Civic, but would provide a successor to the town’s now-defunct arts centre, which closed in 2012.
“There are many plays and things like that which don’t require a [bigger] theatre – one-man shows and all that sort of thing – which is what we believe would be very attractive to the town,” he said.
“And I also think it’d be attractive to the people who are trying to get their work out there and shown to people.”
Connor added that the group was in the process of applying for Arts Council England funding, and was considering other grant-giving bodies.
It is hoped the theatre will fully open early next year, though parts of the building are already in use as a live music venue.
We need your help…
When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.
The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.
We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.
Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.