Adeline Genee Theatre

Felcourt Road,
East Grinstead, RH19 2GW

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Myles Byrne (Hereford) Ltd.

Architects: W.B. Starr

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Located to the north of East Grinstead, West Sussex. The Adeline Genee Theatre (named after Danish-British ballet dancer Dame Adeline Genee who died in 1970) was opened in January 1967 when HRH Princess Margaret, her husband Lord Snowdon and famed ballet dance Dame Margot Fonteyn attended. It was conceived as a ballet theatre and studio for the Bush Davies ballet school in whose grounds it stood. When it opened it was a professional theatre, presenting all forms of live theatre, the first play on 1st February 1967 was “Just Good Friends” starring Lisa Daniely, Roy Kinnear, Brian Murphy & Bryan Pringle. It had a 34ft wide proscenium. Designed by architect W.B. Starr with architectural firm Clifford & Carman which was headed by architect W.F. Kemp. The building consultant was John Wyckham. The auditorium d├ęcor was by Lonsdale-Hands. All seating was located on a single stepped floor.

Due to its ‘out of town’ distance, it was not doing well as a live theatre, and in 1972 it was equipped with BTH Super 2 projectors (possibly coming from the Ritz Cinema, Seaford). When live shows were not booked, it reverted to weeks of films, programmed by the Myles Byrne chain. The Adeline Genee Theatre was closed, together with the Bush Davies ballet school in 1989.

It was purchased by security firm Sabrewatch, who converted it into a staff training venue. In 2009 it was purchased by Townhouse Developments and was demolished in 2011. Retirement Villages Ltd. purchased the site and they built the Charters Village retirement housing development.

Contributed by Ken Roe
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