Weʼre raising £40,000 to purchase and install a new seating system at the Phoenix Theatre
- Ton Pentre, United Kingdom
- Creative arts and culture
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ACT 1 Theatre group have been regular users of the Phoenix Theatre for nearly 10 years, performing at least 3 productions a year. In recent years we have become involved in the development and improvement of the building and in July of this years we took over the running of the theatre side of the building.
Our number one aim is to continue to improve and develop the building to ensure it stays open providing a performance space for a number of community theatre groups, dance companies and local schools.
History of the building
The Ton Pentre Workmen's Hall and Institue first opened on 24th November 1904. Paid for from the local miners wages every fortnight (5p for colliers and 3p for Hauliers and Labourers) the building cost £10,000 which is a staggering £1.1million in today's money.
The pimary purpose of the building was to 'provide a meeting place where miners could freely air their views but eventually, in order to ease their heavy commitments the hall was hired out to various organisations and churches.'
The hall began showing 'animated pictures' as far back as 1908 and also boasts the accolade of being the first picture house in the Rhondda to show pictures in CinemaScope.
The Workmens hall enjoyed many years of success providing a place of relaxation for miners and their families to go to and was at the heart of the Ton Pentre community contributing to many charitable organisations.
Unfortunatley the economics of the 1980's saw the closure of the building (which was bingo hall by this point) and it stood empty for a number of years falling into disrepair.
Forward to the early 1990's and the hall was reopened as the Phoenix Cinema showing weekly films as it still does today. The trustees of the building have spent the last 30 years preserving the building as best they can while still trying to keep it open. Unfortunatley lack of funding, patronage and battling against a century old building means that this doesn't always happen as quick as everyone would like.
We at ACT 1 are doing everything we can to ensure the development of the building continues, inspired by a message left to future generations from a trustee of the building during its 60th anniversary celebrations...
"The young people of Ton Pentre are the inheritors of a great estate, they are the custodians of a rich and powerful inheritance...let us salute its founders, honour their memories, let us hope that it's present committee will do everything within their power to cherish and preserve the good traditions of the past."
So...with that in mind. Our number one priority in the development of the Heae is he seats. I'm sure anyone who has visited the theatre will know why this i number one priority. We were very successful in securing funding for the circle a few years ago but unfortunatley we have not been able to secure any funding for the stall seating (the bigger of the two areas).
We want to ensure that once new seats are purchased they can be used for many years to come...
Unfortunately, quality comes at a price. £40,000 to be exact.
We will be doing everything we can over the next few months to ensure we reach this target as quickly as possible. Of course if you'd like to help us on our way to the target then please feel free to do so. All donations will be most gratefully achieved.
We will be updating this page with more information shortly but for now....thank you!!
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Oct 10, 2017
Oct 9, 2017