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New seats ready for refurbished Congress Theatre

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Image of seats in production at Race Furniture
Seats in production at Race Furniture

Finishing touches have been made to around 1,650 new seats for the Congress Theatre which is in the final stages of a major two-year refurbishment.

The Grade II listed theatre will re-open in spectacular style this spring with a concert by London Philharmonic Orchestra on 24 March.

Built in 1963, the theatre has been closed since January 2017 for extensive work to be carried out. As well as the new seats, when the new look theatre opens it will have a new state-of-the-art lighting bridge, new heating and air conditioning systems and new toilets.

The auditorium floor is being prepared for the seats to be put in place in the New Year. Elsewhere, ceilings are being installed along with lights in the front-of-house area, and new ladies’ toilet cubicles – an increased number - are being fitted on the ground floor.

Councillor David Tutt, Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, said: “Renovations are continuing apace and it’s exciting that we’re getting to the stage of putting in new seats.

“The biggest theatre on the south coast, the Congress is well-known for its architectural merit and the work being carried out will enhance the stylish interior as well as making visits more enjoyable for theatre-goers. There’s no way of better showing this off than with a London Philharmonic Orchestra concert followed by a packed schedule of top touring shows.”

The Congress Theatre is considered architecturally on a par with buildings such as The National Theatre and Chichester Theatre.

The theatre refurbishment is part of Eastbourne Borough Council’s £54 million project to create The Devonshire Quarter, a first-class cultural, conferencing and sporting complex.

At the new Welcome Building, the main halls are progressing to schedule. In the upper areas, timber raised floors are being installed ready for floor finishers.

Published 18 December 2018