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Catford Broadway Theatre faces uncertain future as council looks to modernise

Catford Broadway Theatre. Photo: Ewan Munro

A public consultation has been launched on the future of the Broadway Theatre in south London while the local authority develops plans to bring the venue “back to its former glory”.

Lewisham Council has claimed the 1930s design of the building does not meet modern standards, and that deterioration in parts of the venue requires more investment to fix.

The 800-seat Catford-based theatre underwent a £2 million refurbishment in 1999, but three quarters of this money was used for essential works to keep the building operational, and therefore it could not be fully modernised.

It is currently operating with a reduced programme while the council prepares plans for a large-scale capital redevelopment.

According to the council, major works are needed to overhaul the theatre’s main auditorium and studio theatre, as well as backstage areas.

At least £530,000 is needed for basic repairs over the next two years, though a larger estimate for full modernisation has not been disclosed.

A statement released by the council reads: “The combination of the 1930s design of the building not meeting modern standards and the deterioration of some aspects of the building mean that the Broadway needs investment in a number of areas.

“The council is committed to ensuring that the theatre can remain a vibrant focal point for cultural activity.”

The consultation asks local residents about their attendance habits at the theatre [1], including how often they see shows and what puts them off buying tickets.