Fri 1 Mar 2024
The project will modernise and significantly increase the venue’s toilet provision and include a new onsite Changing Places facility. Turnaround time at the venue’s bars will be improved with new larger bar areas and a fully refurbished Circle Lounge. The theatre’s entrance foyer will also offer improved disabled access.
There will be much more open space created within the venue to allow customers to dwell before and after shows as well during the interval. This project will also revive and restore some of the building’s stunning art deco features to their former glory.
To fund the estimated £3m cost of these customer-facing improvements, a Restoration Levy of £1.50 per ticket starts today, Friday 23 June 2023. This will be added to all tickets over £10 and the income from this will be ring-fenced for refurbishment, improvement and upkeep of the theatre.
Councillor Sophie Connelly, Ipswich Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Culture and Customers, says:
“Ipswich Regent Theatre has nearly 100 years of history and is the beating heart of live entertainment in Suffolk. Investment is required to ensure our facilities are modernised and updated, so that customers receive the very best experience.
This restoration Levy per ticket for theatre-goers will provide funding to enable improvements, so that The Regent remains an enjoyable Ipswich experience for a further 100 years.”
History of Ipswich Regent Theatre:
Ipswich Regent Theatre is a Grade II listed Art Deco theatre and first opened as a ‘cine-variety hall’ in 1929. Up until the mid-1980s it offered both cinema and live entertainment.
In 1989 the theatre was purchased by Ipswich Borough Council and received front of house renovation before re-opening in September 1991.
Since that time, the upstairs Circle Lounge has been refurbished and November 2014 saw work to reinstate original plaster mouldings in the Foyer and Crush Hall.
In 2022 permission was granted for new dressing room facilities, catering, and wardrobe space as new units on part of the rear car park.
Ipswich Regent Theatre’s capacity is 1,551 seats per show. It now boasts an extensive, regionally significant programme of large-scale shows including West End musicals, comedy, dance, music of all varieties, opera, drama, special interest performances as well as a successful co-produced pantomime.
For further information about the Restoration Levy and updates on Ipswich Regent Theatre’s refurbishment project, please visit: www.ipswichtheatres.co.uk/restoration-levy