|© Copyright Mike Quinn and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence|
The Broadway Theatre is a Grade II listed building in the heart of Catford. It was built in 1932 and is an outstanding example of Art Deco design. The magnificent curve of the building frontage, fascinating gargoyles, imposing, grand main auditorium and rare Compton theatre organ give the Broadway its unique charm. It was originally built as a multi-purpose civic hall for activities including dancing and wrestling and now has a main auditorium with a capacity of 800 seats and an 80 seat studio theatre.
In 1999 the theatre underwent a £2million refurbishment but 75% of this investment was needed for major remedial works including a full rewiring and roof repairs. Funding was not available to tackle the challenging and complex needs surrounding the backstage area or the interiors of the two auditoria. The combination of the 1930s design of the building not meeting modern standards and the deterioration of some aspects of the building mean that the Broadway needs investment in a number of areas.
At the end of 2015 the main auditorium had to be closed for a period to allow for repairs to the ornate plaster ceiling. The main house is operational again with a reduced programme whilst the Council prepares a capital plan to bring the theatre back to its former glory. In the longer term the capital investment needed will require external funds to be secured. The Council is committed to ensuring that the theatre can remain a vibrant focal point for cultural activity.
Lewisham Council is currently seeking views on how the Broadway Theatre can be best used in the future and what type of venue would be of most value to the local community.
Click here to complete the survey. With thanks to Tamsin.