Consultants have been appointed to review future plans for Horsham’s Capitol Theatre following proposals to open a new cinema in the town.
Members of the town watchdog group The Horsham Society say that they think greater use could be made of The Capitol bulding for live theatre, films and use by stage and dance schools, along with local musicians.
A new ‘Everyman’ cinema is currently under construction as part of the multi-million-pound redevelopment of Piries Place in Horsham’s town centre.
Horsham Society members say among new opportunites open to The Capitol could be a chance to encourage more local schools to use The Capitol instead of treavelling over to Crawley to use The Hawth theatre there.
In a report to members, the Society says The Capitol would also benefit from a ‘more appropriate’ bar and cafe and improved seating in the main theatre.
“The Capitol would bnefit from greater marketing of both the town and the theatre”, says the society. “In particular it should be possible to attract visitors from Crawley.
“In addition, a good schools programme of events should be developed, encouraging more use by schools, rather than them using The Hawth. This also has the effect of children appreciating their local theatre.”
Society members also say that a degree of financial subsidy for the Capitol is justified in view of its cultural importance and its ‘value of sustaining a strong sense of community and having a high level of social activity within the town.’
Its need for subsidy would diminish as the town grows ‘and the theatre establishes itself through improved programmes and stronger marketing and perhaps donations from friends.’