Catford's Broadway Theatre marks 90 years with a major refurbishment
The refurbishment is due to elevate the customer experience at the venue with the auditorium, foyers, bar areas and toilets all being given a contemporary overhaul to ensure the Grade II* listed building, which turns 90 this year, meets the needs of a 21st century audience.
The Council has invested £7 million in the upgrade through its Capital Programme and work begins this month. In the year that Lewisham is the Mayor of London’s Borough of Culture, the updates are an exciting and much-needed development for one of the borough’s cultural gems, and the refurbishment plays an important part within the regeneration of Catford town centre.
The theatre restoration is being carried out by Rooff Construction Limited who will oversee enhancements including improved accessibility; upgraded seating and bars; new energy efficient mechanical, electrical and fire alarm systems; new digital signage at the front of the building; and updated CCTV systems which will make the venue safer for visitors.
Cllr André Bourne, Cabinet Member for Culture said:
“There’s a huge amount of fondness for The Broadway Theatre among locals so we’re excited to get going with its restoration. It’s an important part of Catford’s physical and cultural landscape - bringing with it a rich and varied history, which includes hosting some of the biggest names in entertainment. However it is an old building and therefore requires substantial maintenance.
“As we get ready to launch our incredible Borough of Culture programme, it’s all the more important we invest in our arts heritage. We’re happy to have secured the £7 million needed to give the theatre a new lease of life as it approaches its 90th birthday, making it more inclusive and ensuring it meets audiences’ expectations for comfort and quality.”
The Broadway Theatre was designed and built in an Art Deco style by architects Bradshaw, Gass and Hope in 1932. It last underwent a significant refurbishment in 2001, when the layout of the building was altered and new uses were found for some of the internal spaces. It has played host to a roster of big name stars over the years, including Tony Bennett, Gladys Knight, The Four Tops and Morecambe and Wise.