The eagerly awaited Marlowe theatre opened its doors on Tuesday 4 Oct, for a Gala concert celebrating the completion of the two year, £25.6 Million Project.
The 2nd Marlowe theatre (the 1st being demolished to make way for the Marlowe Arcade shopping centre) was first opened in the 1930’s as a cinema. After the 1st Marlowe theatre was demolished in 1981, the city council purchased the cinema to keep the Canterbury’s theatre alive. It underwent a major redevelopment to turn it from a cinema into the 2nd Marlowe Theatre. After 25 successful years and a lot of private and public funding, the building was closed in the spring of 2009 for the demolition and renovation of the brand new and extended theatre.
The new building designed by architect Keith Williams now boasts an increased 1200 seat main auditorium, now with comfortable seating and improved sightlines and a large orchestra pit accommodating up to 80 musicians which allows for the biggest and best shows on offer to grace the stage. It also holds spacious foyers with bars and amenities on all three floors, a riverside cafe and terrace and the brand new Marlowe Studio.
The Studio designed as a flexible and multi-purpose performance space can seat 150 people. However, due to a state-of-the art retractable seating system the auditorium can easily be adapted to accommodate up to 300 people, making it ideal for workshops and music gigs.
The brand new Marlowe Theatre, in the heart of the medieval city, is set to provide an annual economic boost of £25 million for Canterbury and has created 150 new jobs in the area.
The Marlowe Theatre is now open with a range of fantastic shows coming up in the next couple of months including the Philharmonic Orchestra featuring Julian Lloyd Webber and their first new Marlowe Theatre Pantomime, Cinderella, featuring John Partridge (Christian Clarke, Eastenders) and Stephen Mulhearn (Britain’s Got More Talent).
So if your visiting kent this winter why not add a little culture and visit the Marlowe Theatre in the heart of the historic city of Canterbury.
To book or view more information on The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, go to: