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The Picturedrome

The Picturedrome

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The Picturedrome Theatre on Barton Street is Gloucester's largest theatre venue. Built in 1923 as a 700 seat cinema, it was converted into a theatre in the 1980s. It now has a capacity of 375, with a large main stage, studio, and bar. Ahead of its 90th anniversary next year, Gloucester Picturedrome is re-launching as a fully commercial theatre, attracting nationally renowned acts from all corners of the UK. - www.gloucesterpicturedrome.com

Most people know The Picturedrome as a closed venue. It's been through many incarnations; not only a cinema, but a bingo hall, and a home to Gloucester Amateur Dramatics Society.

On 25th April, we held a public consultation and, from that, drafted our constitution. Despite its many manifestations, The Picturedrome has always survived, and now remains as Gloucester's largest theatre.

Anybody who has been to see the venue knows that it's bursting with potential. After a number of failed attempts to unlock that potential through the years, it has become harder to build community interest.

We recently made a post on our blog about Ghost Theatres:

Since 2008, Adam Slater has been on a quest to photograph Britain’s abandoned and derelict cinemas and theatres before they are gone for good.

It makes painful viewing, and we'd be lying if we said that The Picturedrome wasn't in danger of joining that list.

Which would be a terrible shame as, in a recent survey, 55% of Gloucester respondents felt that a theatre was extremely important to its local community. 82% also felt that there was significant room for improvement in the arts in Gloucester.

We're not just looking to bring in cutting edge drama, we also want to help to support arts and culture at home. From an entertainment angle we're running Gloucestershire's Got Talent again this year, turning the spotlight on local talent - but we're also looking to invest in community projects with lasting positive impact.

We're very aware that the theatre won't survive without the support and enthusiasm of the local community. In return, we aim to pay back that enthusiasm with support and regeneration of our own.

At the moment, we have only just started our change. What we are focusing on, and what you can help to get involved in, are:

Promotion of Events: such as Fragments of Ash (25th May) and Seven Ages of Man (1st June). The Picturedrome is still known as a 'closed venue' and we want to let people know that we are very much open. We will also have a number of weekly bar events once our new Bar Manager, Ben, has settled in. Word of mouth is key - so if you have friends in the area, please tell them about us. You can also hire the venue for events of your own. Please request our Hire Pack from: info@gloucesterpicturedrome.com

Volunteer Opportunities: We have a PDF of open Volunteer Opportunities. We really need Front of House volunteers to come and help us during shows. This is a great way for people of all ages and backgrounds to get involved in the theatre (and catch the odd show for free!). We're also looking for skilled volunteers to help us with our internal systems and charitable projects. If you think you could offer something that isn't listed in our Volunteer Opportunities, please drop us a line anyway.

Corporate Support: Gloucestershire's Got Talent was inaugurated last year on a wave of enthusiasm. With a little bit of experience behind us, and a strong local following, we're looking for sponsors for this show and other landmark events. We're also looking for businesses and individuals who would like to sponsor much needed renovations to certain areas of our grade two listed building. In return, we can offer a number of packages to promote your business (plus entertaining perks). We would like to build strong, long-lasting relationships with our supporters throughout Gloucestershire.

So, The Picturedrome is entering yet another incarnation. This time as a commercial theatre, but also as a charitable entity. Preserving the building, whilst encouraging its use in exploring the stories and themes that matter to our community.

It's made it this far. 90 years next year! Let's make it shine.

For general enquiries, PR and promotional support please e-mail: info@gloucesterpicturedrome.com

For sponsorship or skilled volunteer roles, please e-mail: manager@gloucesterpicturedrome.com

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