Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts, is to close its doors at the end of the month as work gets underway on the much-needed upgrade of the iconic building.
At the heart of life in Poole since it opened in 1978, some parts of the building and its infrastructure have remained untouched for nearly 40 years and are in need of modernisation.
In order for this to happen, Lighthouse will close on Saturday 28 May and reopen to the public on Wednesday 12 October.
A temporary, pop-up ticket office will open outside the Terrace cafe on Tuesday 31 May and operate a five-day service, opening from 9.30 am to 5pm Monday to Friday, until 11 October, although tickets can still be bought at any time on the venue’s website, lighthousepoole.co.uk.
“Although we’re closing the building for longer than usual this summer we’re not going away – far from it,” says chief executive Elspeth McBain. “While the work to upgrade the facilities and improve the technical capabilities throughout the building is being completed we are also planning a number of performances in spaces within the town.
“If we are to attract the very best artists we need to make Lighthouse fully fit for the future and provide a first-rate experience for everyone who comes here, whether as an audience member, a performer, for business meetings or with any of the many groups that use the building.
“We are delighted that by doing this work now, we can continue to provide brilliant cultural activities for the whole community and launch our exciting plans for the future.”
The summer refresh of Lighthouse includes moving the main entrance, modernising the backstage area, upgrading of dressing rooms and creation of the building’s first Green Room. Transformation of the Studio theatre will also take place with a new configuration so the audience will be wrapped around the performance space.
“The investment in the future of this magnificent building will pay instant dividends by enabling us to develop our programme to respond to both our community and the theatre sector nationally,” says Elspeth.
Fundraising is on-going for the current programme of works and future plans.
“While income is generated through ticket sales and our entertainment facilities, as a registered charity Lighthouse relies on donations from our supporters to keep the building running, attract high quality artists, and provide a wealth of art and culture that sustains our current offer and provides new and exciting cultural opportunities.”
The first public performance at Lighthouse following its reopening will find Chief Conductor Kirill Karabits on the podium as Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra launches its autumn concert programme on 12 October with Walton’s second symphony, Rachmininov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italien.
A community re-opening open day event will be held in late November.