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Major revamp for Stephen Joseph Theatre

Stephen Joseph Theatre auditorium
Stephen Joseph Theatre auditorium

Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre is seeking planning permission for a major refurbishment of its auditorium, home to both live shows and cinema.

The work aims to significantly improve the theatre’s accessibility, sustainability and customer experience.

The auditorium currently has limited wheelchair access and the plan includes extra access to the stage and wings; more toilets, including an accessible one; a new bar and increased seating opportunities at all levels. The intention is also to redecorate the auditorium, to celebrate the heritage of the 1930s Grade II listed building.

Stephen Joseph Theatre

Executive director Caroline Routh said: “These are hugely exciting plans for us. The SJT is an important cultural asset within a regenerating Scarborough and North Yorkshire. We’re a key contributor to the tourism offer, with an annual economic impact of £4.6 million.

"Our work is also a vital community resource for Scarborough, with year-round creative opportunities for 30,000 people. Each year we give around 1,000 £1 tickets to those who may otherwise be unable to afford a trip to the theatre.

“The entire project will take some time as we’re very keen to keep the building open and accessible as much as possible during the work. We’re at a very early stage – we’re all working hard on plans to secure the necessary funding.”

As for making the theatre greener, Caroline explained: “Our air-handling systems, installed when we moved into this former cinema in 1996, will reach end-of-life within the next three to five years.

“Replacing them will not only safeguard our operation but will also help us towards our goal of becoming a net-zero institution and improve our long-term financial stability through reduced energy bills.”

Theatre website here


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