Annual Register Lists Theatre Buildings at RiskDate: 14 July 2010
The Theatres Trust’s fifth annual Theatre Buildings at Risk register (TBAR), published today, highlights a number of theatres at risk of "imminent demolition".
They include Workington Opera House, which its owners intend to demolish and replace with apartments, the Borough Theatre in Wallsend which is also to be demolished for housing development, and the Grade II listed Derby Hippodrome, where developer Christopher Anthony plans to build a multi-storey car park and retail unit.
Among the 14 new additions this year is the Grade II Hackney Empire in London, which is currently dark for a "period of reflection" following financial problems (See News, 24 Sep 2009).
Other theatres on the list, which is down to 55 this year from 82 in 2009, include the Acorn Arts Centre in Penzance and the Grade II Crewe Lyceum, which are both under imminent threat as a result of recent government funding decisions. Bedford Civic is also at risk from local authority plans to convert it into a council building.
Theatres Trust Chairman Rob Dickins said: “Our TBAR this year really highlights theatres under threat from imminent demolition and funding cuts. I’m very concerned that the theatres currently providing local people with access to their only live arts and entertainment experiences are going to end up abandoned and lying empty. Previously closed and abandoned theatres are also now more of a target for redevelopment and demolition. We cannot lose our theatre heritage in this way.”
The report this year also highlights the “many thousands of local people” who have signed up to Facebook campaigns and petitions in support of their local theatres.
The Theatres Trust was established in 1976 to promote better protection of theatres and began compiling the annual TBAR in 2006 to highlight the buildings most at risk.