Actress Sam Womack launched a project to create a new 400-seat theatre in Letchworth Garden City this week (Monday 22nd February 2016), as part of a £4 million investment in the arts which also sees a gallery opening in the town later this week.
Sam, whose career has made her a household name in television and theatre, lives locally and is excited at the prospect of the first major professional theatre in the town, as an addition to the Art Deco Broadway Cinema.
She said: “It’s really exciting to have this new theatre locally, in this lovely building. We have had many happy visits to the cinema and I look forward to the theatre coming this autumn.”
The theatre marks a major investment in the arts by Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation, who are using the revenue from their unique Garden City legacy to make the town a major centre for the Arts.
Also opening in the town this Wednesday (24 February) is the new Broadway Gallery – with a major show by international modern art pioneer Richard Smith. Smith was born and raised in Letchworth Garden City and went on to have his work showcased at the Venice Biennale and the Tate Gallery.
Colin Chatfield, Chairman of Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation said: “It is great to have Sam Womack along to launch the build of our new theatre, and highlights the calibre of actors and shows we will attract when the theatre opens later this year. It’s going to be an exciting year for the arts in Letchworth.”
Work on the theatre begins in earnest on Monday, with builders working seven days a week in order to keep the work as short as possible while allowing the cinema to remain open. During the building work the cinema will be open Monday to Friday from 4pm, and from 3pm at the weekend.
Work has been carefully planned to ensure it is in keeping with the cinema’s beautiful Art Deco design. Dressing rooms and a stage will be added to Screen One so it can be changed from a cinema to theatre, and back, overnight, allowing it to host theatre, children’s shows, live comedy and acoustic music, as well as mainstream films. It will also create a new bar area and add an air cooling system.
The work will continue until late 2016 with theatre previews and back stage tours taking place in November ahead of the first theatre season in 2017.
Further details of the theatre plans are available online at www.broadway-letchworth.com