The Eden Theatre is the main performance area seating 210 people comfortably.
Raked (sloped) seating, quality lighting and sound systems and an induction loop for the hard of hearing all combine to make each performance as memorable as possible. The raked seating can be fully retracted to enable the space to be used in many and various ways - different theatre layouts are possible, including 'in the round'.
The raked seating and flat stage area lends the room to be used as a cinema - and our film nights are becoming increasingly popular, with recent releases being shown to appreciative audiences.
As well as being used as a theatre and cinema the Eden Theatre is also the main function room for the Town Hall - many different uses have been made of the space over the years - from tea dances (most Tuesday afternoons), to wedding receptions, birthdays and exhibitions.
The Eden Theatre was named after the original Eden Theatre which once stood in Bishop Auckland. The father of Stan Laurel (real name Jefferson) managed the Theatre - at the end of the nineteenth century, then again in the 1920's.
One of the main attractions of the Town Hall is the McGuinness Gallery which provides a splendid location for artists to display their artistic talents.
"The McGuinness Gallery provides a splendid location for artists to display their artistic talents".
Exhibitions are programmed to run for 3 weeks at a time and selection is made by a panel of experts from Durham Art Gallery.The Town Hall encourages a wide diversity of styles and exhibitions. The Gallery provides artists with an excellent space in which to display their work. Each exhibition is launched in the best possible way utilising our outstanding in-house caterers. The McGuinness Gallery may also be used for meeting or workshops.
Alongside all other activities, the Town Hall has a well stocked library on the ground floor and is open 6 days a week. In addition to over 30,000 books, there are a range of reference and lending services including newspapers, services for children and teenagers, talking books, large print stock and an audiovisual section which offers compact discs and DVDs. The Hutchinson Library also regularly hosts literary events with discussions on literary topics as well as book launches and author events.
Fax and photocopying services are also available as well as 'Public Access Terminals' for use by library members, incorporating PCs with free Internet Access and Office facilities featuring Word, Excel, Publisher and Powerpoint. Scanner facilities are available too, with assistance available if required.
For anyone interested in tracing their ancestors, the Census Returns and International Genealogical Index (IGI) are available on microfiche. Ancestry.com is also available, free of charge, on the Public Access terminals.
If you are not currently a member of the library and would like to join, do make yourself known at the library information desk - the staff there will be pleased to show you round and issue you with an interim membership card. Upon proof of identity you become a full member which entitles you to borrow 12 books and audio / visual materials.
In the Laurel Room Café at the Town Hall you will find an extensive menu of food and drink to refresh you during the day from Cygnet Catering. The fully licensed bar provides a range of alcoholic beverages alongside tea, coffee and soft drinks together with a delicious selection of home-cooked foods. Soup, sandwiches, jacket potatoes, salads, cakes and pastries are available in addition to speciality dishes. Vegetarian options are also available.
The very experienced catering staff would be happy to meet you if you are considering hosting an event of your own at the Town Hall and would like a special lunch or dinner to compliment your occasion. Children are very welcome and there are excellent facilities to help you celebrate in style.
Jez Lowe performing in the Cafe
Look out for special events such as Country and Western Nights where the cuisine matches the music.
The Cafe, like the rest of the Town Hall complex, is now a completely non-smoking environment.
Members of Mandy who have worked for Bishop Auckland Town Hall