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Stockton Globe Theatre to open in 2018/19 after six-year delay

Stockton Globe Theatre. Photo: Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council Stockton Globe Theatre. Photo: Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council
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A grade II-listed art deco cinema in Stockton is set to reopen as a live performance venue after the council approved plans for a major refurbishment.

The redevelopment of Stockton Globe Theatre was first announced eight years ago with the intention of opening in 2012. Initial work began on site in 2011, but quickly stalled after disputes between the council and the theatre’s owner Jomast.

Delays were centred around the release of funding by the Heritage Lottery Fund, which had set aside £4 million for the project but by 2016 had only released 10% of the money. HLF said it would release the rest when full plans had been submitted.

In March 2016, Stockton Council pledged more than £2 million towards the project. The 2,500-seat theatre is aiming to reopen in 2018/19, when it will host live music and comedy.

As part of the plans, approved on May 24, a vacant property adjacent to the theatre will be converted into a cafe and bar, and the stalls seating will be removable in order to allow up to 2,200 people to stand for live events. The art deco frontage will be restored.

As part of the application, both the Theatres Trust and Historic England were consulted. Despite expressing concerns that “an opportunity is missed by not installing a more sympathetic frontage” to the theatre, Historic England has “warmly welcomed” the plans.

The Theatres Trust recommended the plans, saying that they provide “a sensitive and considered approach to the historic asset”.

The Globe opened in 1935 as a ‘super cinema theatre’, hosting both stage plays and films. Bands including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Buddy Holly also performed on its stage.

It became a bingo hall in 1977, before closing in 1996, and has been vacant since then.

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