Arts space, gallery, cinema,
restaurant or even – a theatre…What is happening to
the Broadway Theatre?
The Development Manager for Cultural Services is coming along to talk about the future of the theatre and hear ways the local community want it to be used. We all have a stake in this fantastic part of our local heritage – so take your chance to influence its future from the start
Evette McDonald development officer for Lewisham Council
This is about gathering your thoughts. It is a grade 2 listed building built in 1932. Art Deco Design, originally built as a multi purpose civic hall. At that time the borough had a number of theatres and cinemas. All of which has now been demolished or closed. Broadway is the only one left and is important cultural building. There were works done in the 1990 but this was predominantly about bringing it up to code and rewiring etc. there is still lots of work that needs to be done to the theatre as there is been no significant investment in the theatre since 1999. There is some capital funding identified to fix the major problems like the roof, but there is no money identified to fix the seating etc.
We are putting a bid in to the Heritage Lottery fund. Before we do that we want to know what kind of building you want it to be. It doesn’t have to remain the traditional building for theatre productions such as pantomime or comedy etc. there is a lot of potential to change the use, to use it as a place to hire for weddings, or for community organisations, dance and arts companies, cinema and so on.
We want to know have you used it before, what you think about it and what type of venue would you like to see in Catford. There is an online consultation, this is open until the 15th of March, we have some hard copies here if you can’t get online. We have an open day on Tuesday the 8th of March, an opportunity to give your views and have a tour of the Theatre between 10am – 2pm.The Theatre is open all day that day to drop in. What do you hope to see in the future.
Q. Why is the open day always when people are working? Why can’t it be in the evening or the weekend?
A. It is purely due to the staff in the Broadway theatre. Only 2 staff and only a few events taking place they are trying to put on events for the evening, so they don’t have capacity in the evenings. We can look at doing something on the weekend
Q. Other boroughs have faced issues and have managed to regenerate by turning them into cinemas, sometimes I don’t think we are ambitious enough as a local authority. The people in the borough are really interested. Is there any chance of it becoming a cinema? Are we looking at other boroughs who have been in the same situation and seeing how they did it?
A. This is exactly the kind of feedback we want and we are genuinely open to exploring anything. There is nothing set, we don’t have a plan in place, we really want to know what you want to see out of that building. If you have not put it in to the consultation, please do.
Q. Nice to have a range of things on public dances, amateur dramatics and so on but can we make money having the bar and café open more often? I have never seen them open – ever!
A. Yes, there is a specific question on the use of the bar and café in the consultation and if you want to see it open when there are not productions. We need to know people will use it before we consider it, to prevent under use
Thank you – there is a link to the consultation is in the Assembly agenda booklet and I will stay to hear our views at the end
Statement. Local resident wanted to alert everyone to ‘Catford upon Avon’, Shakespeare festival at the Broadway, She found out about it from the leaflet at this meeting. There is information at the back of the room today, look at that and go and support the theatre!
Another resident stated that the Theatre is a great place, but part of the problem is that things are not advertised well. People don’t know what is going on. That needs to be remedied