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THE STAGE IS SET
Darlington Civic Theatre begins
its seventeen month restoration journey.
With hoardings being erected and crossings being closed on Parkgate it is not difficult to notice that the eagerly-awaited restoration of Darlington Civic Theatre has begun. Contractors have started their seventeen month process to make the theatre fit for modern shows and audiences whilst also restoring the theatre to its original Edwardian beauty.
So, what exactly is in store for Darlington once the theatre re-opens?
A host of new facilities will be added including a café-bar which will be open all day, allowing the people of Darlington to meet, relax and enjoy the surroundings of the theatre. A heritage gallery will offer a permanent record of the theatre’s colourful history and will also enable local and national artists to display their works. There will be improved disabled access within the theatre including a lift to all seating levels.
There will be improvements to the backstage areas allowing the theatre to attract and accommodate larger touring shows and expand its range of activities involving youth and education work. The two adjoining premises on Parkgate have been secured as part of the project enabling the footprint of the theatre to expand, offering vastly improved box office and public circulation spaces.
New heritage seating will be installed providing greater legroom and improved sightlines, better ventilation will make a visit to the theatre much more comfortable.
The restoration will be complemented by the creation of The Hullaballoon (funded by Arts Council England together with Darlington Borough Council), a flagship theatre for children, right next door to Darlington Civic Theatre, offering exciting opportunities for collaborative working around events for children, young people and families.
The improved facilities will significantly enhance the visitor experience. The theatre will become a place in Darlington that can act as an arts hub, to have a relaxing cup of coffee, to learn about the history of the theatre, somewhere that can inspire young people in the arts as well as a place to be entertained.