Ryde Theatre

Lind Street,
Ryde, PO33 2NL

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Additional Info

Architects: Francis Newman, James Sanderson

Styles: Classical Revival

Previous Names: Ryde Town Hall

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Located in Ryde on the Isle of Wight. Built as a Town Hall in 1831 to the plans of London based architect James Sanderson. An additional 700-seat large hall was built in 1869 to the plans of local architect Francis Newman, which was used occasionally for concerts. It was equipped with an organ.

The large hall and its organ were severely damaged in a fire on 6th June 1933. It was rebuilt and reopened in 1934, and a new Walkers organ had been installed which opened with an organ concert on 7th November 1934. The Town Hall was used for special events, concerts and dances. The organ was last used in May 1975 with a concert by organist Dudley Savage, after which became unplayable as years progressed. Over the years work commenced to restore the organ and it was completed when a concert was held in April 1986.

The Town Hall was closed for refurbishment in 1990 and reopened as the 502-seat Ryde Theatre in March 1991 as a theatre and cinema. Films were not very successful and the Ryde Theatre stopped screening them in 1993, although the projection equipment was still in the building in 1999. It continued as a live theatre until February 2005 when faults in the structure of the building were found. It became a live music venue until 2010. In 2013 a new owner was found and further renovations are still in progress in 2023.

Contributed by Ken Roe
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