The Lantern Theatre, originally known as the Chalet Theatre, was built as a private theatre by William Webster. He lived in a large adjoining property in Priory Road and the land on which the theatre stands was used for his carriage and horses. The part of the building now used for the dressing room, wardrobe and scenery store was Mr Webster’s stable and coach house.
However, by the 1950’s the theatre had fallen into disuse and the neglected building rose from a forest of undergrowth. It was Dilys Guite, an actress and drama teacher, who approached the then owner, Charles Richardson, with a view to restoring it.
In May 1957 a nominal rent was agreed and Dilys and her small group embarked on their mammoth task. Mr Richardson was so impressed with their enthusiasm and sheer hard work that he presented the theatre to the players in memory of his wife, Annie.
Today, the theatre continues to stage productions by both the Dilys Guite Players and other groups.
We have a pleasant coffee lounge with a fully licensed bar, serving drinks and an assortment of nibbles. We also have a toilet for wheelchair users and space available to accommodate one wheelchair within the auditorium, although 3 seats are available if you are able to transfer over. There are no armrests on the seats.