Stowmarket: Ambitious proposals put forward to upgrade the Regal Theatre

David Marsh at Stowmarkets Regal Theatre

David Marsh at Stowmarkets Regal Theatre - Credit: Archant

Major proposals to revitalise and expand a growing and popular Suffolk theatre are being put forward.

Year-on-year the Regal Theatre in Stowmarket has seen its audience numbers rise – with 3,000 people buying tickets to see performances during last week’s half-term alone.

Now bosses at the town council, which runs the attraction, want to cater for more film-goers by increasing capacity and improving the theatre’s building.

Town clerk David Blackburn told councillors on Wednesday evening the authorities “encouraging” finances could fund the ambitious project.

He said it would be the biggest scheme the council had undertaken for up to 10 years.


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David Marsh, events and theatre manager for the town council, said: “For the last seven years we have been busier and busier and the number of sold-out performances have been more and more – we do not like turning people away. While the Regal is bringing in great revenue and is successful, it’s felt it’s time to increase the amount of audience we can attract.”

Capacity is set to increase by about 40 – with 20 extra standard and 20 luxury seats available – bringing the total seating up to around 240. The front of the building – which is currently red-brick – would be converted to an attractive glass structure. The theatre’s interior would also be rejuvenated with an art deco theme and improvements to the foyer and bar area.

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Last year, more than 55,000 people bought tickets to see shows. This year, the theatre is likely to see records beaten again with about 60,000 visitors. The work is earmarked to start in 2015 and is expected to close the theatre for about two weeks. Doors could also close for matinee performances for a number of weeks as well.

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