A £¼ Million investment in the future of Lowestoft’s Marina Theatre is set to go ahead this Summer which will see the main auditorium being completely refurbished along with technical improvements and the installation of a digital cinema system.
The Marina Theatre Trust, who took over the management of the 750 seat Edwardian theatre last December, have been planning the refurbishment for some months in partnership with Waveney District Council.
As part of the agreement to manage the Marina Theatre, Waveney District Council approved funds required towards the restoration of the auditorium which will include a full refurbishment of the seating, repainting and new carpeting which will be complimented by the Trust with further technical and ancillary works in addition to the installation of a digital 3D cinema.
Over the past few months the Trust has been sourcing contractors and working with architects to ensure that the unique character of the auditorium is preserved for future generations.
Cllr Stephen Ardley Cabinet member for Partnerships said, “Waveney District Council is fully committed to the future of the Marina Theatre and as part of the negotiations to form the Trust, we were able to agree terms which included a substantial investment in the fabric of the building. The Marina Theatre is without doubt the jewel in the cultural crown of the district and we are delighted that we have been able to work with the trustees to enable these long overdue improvements to take place.”
Speaking on behalf of the Marina Theatre Trust, Chief Executive Martin Halliday added, “Since formally taking over the running of the Marina Theatre in December, the Trust has been working to improve facilities at the venue and planning ahead for the future. As part of this it was decided that refurbishment of the auditorium should be our first priority, thus improving the experience for our patrons. We are pleased that Waveney District Council have been able to show such great support to the Trust and commitment to the theatres future.”
The last major investment in the Marina Theatre was almost 25 years ago when the Council saved the venue from demolition and re-opened it as a civic theatre. In the past ten years, the Marina has dramatically improved its programme with over one million people attending its popular mix of major West End and touring shows, ballet, drama, opera, top comedians, full scale professional pantomime, community events, films and live music.
On Saturday the venue welcomes top soprano Lesley Garrett, performing with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, which is now into its eighth year of a highly successful residency.
In June the theatre hosts top group Mumford & Sons, with the eagerly anticipated musical Save The Last Dance For Me – the follow up to the hugely successful Dreamboats & Petticoats – running in early July. The West End comedy Calendar Girls with an all star cast is scheduled to play in October.
It is anticipated that the main auditorium of the venue will close for a six week period from the end of July while the first stage of improvements are made. The Chief Executive of the Marina Theatre Trust also confirmed that a new colour scheme has been chosen and the infamous green colour of the auditorium would most definitely not be preserved.