Curtain up for Spa Pavilion theatre reopening in Felixstowe
Almost three years after the curtain last came down on performances at a seafront Suffolk theatre, a crowd gathered to celebrate its first show since reopening.
The century-old Spa Pavilion closed at the beginning of 2013, when Suffolk Coastal decided it could no longer afford the annual £250,000 subsidy paid to operators.
There was a full house for Saturday’s opening night sneak preview of the ‘Stars from the Commitments’ 25th anniversary tour – much to the satisfaction of NRG Theatres, which bought the 913-seat Felixstowe venue from the council earlier this year.
Mayor of Felixstowe, Doreen Savage officially reopened the venue at a champagne reception before curtain up.
The audience included Suffolk Coastal leader, Ray Herring, along with Mark Murphy and Lesley Dolphin from BBC Radio Suffolk, Felixstowe Forward Change director Helen Greengrass and a small group of invited guests who have all shown support for the theatre’s reopening.
Director for NRG Theatres, Ray Anderson said: “We couldn’t have hoped for better – a full house, and it seems to be bucking a trend, as our other shows this month are already in the black.
“Now we have to work to continue this extremely positive and buoyant start to our ownership of this landmark theatre.”
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On Sunday night, singer-songwriter Richard Digance was set to take the stage with a night of humour and music.
Since taking over the Spa, NRG Theatres has been carrying out some refurbishment work, removing boards from the lounge bar and restaurant windows, carrying out repairs and improvements, especially tracing and fixing leaks, and preparing the interior for the grand opening.
Meanwhile, show tickets for other productions have been selling well, with a programme of entertainment taking shape for the rest of this year and into 2016.
Mr Anderson added: “Next month we have a terrific line up already planned including The Rat Pack Live Christmas Show, Neil Sands Christmas Memories, and a family pantomime by the Dennis Lowe Theatre Company, plus a stunning Elvis show early in the new year.”
Tickets for all shows are available at felixstowespa.co.uk, or from the Spa Pavilion’s box office, which is open Thursday to Saturday from 11am-4pm, on 01394 284962.