The sharp eyed among you will have noticed we submitted a planning application to Wealden District Council which has now been granted and after Easter 2014 we can start our big refurbishment.
There are two main objectives, the first being an overall refit, decor, seats, carpet, that sort of thing. It’s been a twelve years since we did any significant work and whilst still lovely, the place needs a refresh. When we are done the old girl will be even more gorgeous.
The second and radical part of the plan is a completely resigned foyer and new entrance corridor to the theaters.
If you’re a regular customer you will know the foyer layout is not favourite. As soon as it gets busy, nothing moves and there’s no space to buy drinks and generally hang around. It’s intimate to say the least.
The kiosk is also outdated and a wee bit gnarly if I’m honest. The bar sales part is rather apologetic and not especially appealing, so Sean Albuquerque of ABQ Studio architects has come up with a plan so cunning etc.
In very simple terms we are going to remove the old, rarely used box office and make that the way up from the front door into the foyer. The old kiosk will be removed and a new entrance to the theatres will appear there, turning left into a new extension housing a wider corridor along the north side of the building. All the theatres and the toilets will be accessed from this new extension.
Foot traffic will no longer need to go through the centre of the foyer, meaning we can build a big sexy new bar along the back of the foyer with room to linger. I also plan to improve some of the acoustics in the theatres.
It’s all very exciting and once I get the costs locked down, I can go and do the dance of the seven veils in front of the financiers. It’s not going to be cheap, seats alone are over £100 each, but by next summer we should be in great shape to meet the demands of modern audiences for both film and the increasingly important live events.
We’ve also been working hard on the new membership scheme that is going to be rather fab and a massive new design of the website. No wonder there’s been no time to blog properly, this isn’t as easy as it looks you know.
Keep checking back or better still subscribe for updates to the madness, stress, tears and triumph that is going to be 2014.