New venue wish for Morecambe theatre

Ian Bond inside the roof space which could become a new venue for entertainment. Photo by Neil Cross.
Ian Bond inside the roof space which could become a new venue for entertainment. Photo by Neil Cross.

A team trying to resurrect a Morecambe theatre wants to open a new 1,500 capacity venue there by the year 2020.

The Friends of the Alhambra Theatre and Carleton Suite want to develop the Alhambra’s roof space destroyed by a fire in 1970 to house the new venue.

Matt Panesh outside the Alhambra. Photo by Neil Cross.

Matt Panesh outside the Alhambra. Photo by Neil Cross.

The space is part of the old Alhambra music hall where the classic 1960 film The Entertainer – starring Sir Laurence Olivier – was filmed.

The new venue would operate separately to the Carleton which has enjoyed a renaissance since reopening for events in 2016.

These plans are part of a major £15m bid to revive the West End building as an entertainment hub for the town.

Ian Bond, owner of the Alhambra, said: “It’s quite exciting, it’s gaining a lot of momentum.

“There are a lot of hoops to jump through first but it’s not insurmountable.”

The new venue would be up to 1,500 standing capacity or 1,000 for seated events.

An Alhambra Trust is being set up to oversee changes at the theatre. The Friends of the Alhambra have contacted local councils and national arts organisations in the early stages of applying for funding.

“We want it to be a world class venue,” said Matt Panesh from the Friends.

“The Carleton is the beating heart of the economy of the West End and we want the community to get involved.”

If you would like to help email friendsofthealhambraandcs@gmail.com .

This weekend the Carleton will host two nights of punk music (November 17 and 18)For more details go to the Friends of the Alhambra Facebook page.