Streatham, South London, UK info@streathamhilltheatre.org 020 358 249 12

Announcing Nine Fabulous Patrons on the Theatre’s 91st Birthday

The announcement on what would have been the theatre’s 91st birthday, is some welcome good news at a time when the industry is in crisis.

The key points are:

  • South London’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’ marks its 91st birthday on 20th November 2020.
  • Baroness Floella Benjamin, DBE, DL, Catherine Russell, Jessica Thom, Paul Merton, Renato Balsadonna, Robert Glenister, Samira Ahmed, Simon Callow, CBE and Sir Mark Rylance are the Patrons for the campaign to return the building to public use.
  • Over 100 creative industry individuals and organisations give their support to the campaign.
Patrons

The campaign’s new Patrons are past and present Streatham or South London residents and join a long list of local business, members of the community, public bodies, and creative sector supporters who all agree the building should be returned to public use.

Paul Merton, Comedian, Improviser, Writer and Presenter said:

‘Such an amazing array of stars played at the Streatham Hill Theatre back in the day. It would be wonderful to see this beautiful theatre brought back to life so we could enjoy watching the next generation of performers tread its boards.’

Samira Ahmed, BBC Arts & News Presenter and Theatres Trust Ambassador said:

‘Opening up Streatham Hill Theatre to the public again would be truly exciting. What could be a finer community asset than this building?’

Sir Mark Rylance, Actor, Theatre Director and Playwright said:

‘I live very happily in South London as did my grandfather and great grandfather before me.  I totally support the amazing efforts of the Friends to reuse this gem of a building for the community as an arts and creative hub.’

Robert Glenister, Actor said:

‘I applaud the Friends’ campaign to bring this wonderful theatre back to life and help make Streatham the place to visit for creative entertainment, as it used to be many years ago.’

The full Press Release is available, and you can see more about our Patrons on the supporters page.

Artists image of vision frontage

Are you a potential future user?

In our vision for the revived SHT, as well as professional arts and entertainment, there will be a range of permanent and temporary spaces for rehearsal and performance use by local arts groups (e.g. drama, dance, music, choirs) and for use by community and education groups as meeting rooms, conference spaces, office and workspace, and for private events with hospitality.

To test the viability of these plans, we need to gauge the demand for the hire of the spaces within the building and what specific facilities are needed. 

We will be using an online survey designed to collect information on the hiring potential of spaces and facilities that could be available within a re-imagined Streatham Hill Theatre.

We’d like to hear from you as an individual or as a representative of an organisation. The survey will be emailed out to all our members and supporters, and other potential users, and is available here too. The survey will be available until Sunday 8th November 2020.

Major leap forward in plans to save Streatham Hill Theatre as leading consultants announced and begin work on viability study

The Friends of Streatham Hill Theatre, supported by the Mayor of London, Lambeth Council and The Theatres Trust, and backed by a successful crowdfunding initiative, have started work with FEI, the successful bidders of a hard fought competitive tender to produce a Viability Study and Economic Impact Assessment on the historic building. This will deliver a report on the theatre’s potential to become a multi-purpose arts and culture centre for the local community.

The viability study has been funded following an overwhelming community response to a crowdfunding campaign by the Friends group of local volunteers. The Crowdfund London campaign gained 440 pledges, and won the backing of the Mayor of London, Lambeth Council and the Theatres Trust. It also gained high-profile endorsements from the creative community, including Baroness Benjamin DBE, DL, Simon Callow CBE, Lolita Chakrabarti, Catherine Russell, and Sir Mark Rylance.

To deliver this project, FEI have teamed up with theatre architects Aedas Arts Team, cost and programme consultants Pulse Consult, and creative industry economists Nordicity. They will look at different options for the future of the Grade II listed building as an arts and cultural centre, and then set out a robust and compelling case to decision-makers and interested parties to come on-board.

The full text of this press release can be found at http://resources.streathamhilltheatre.org/press/FoSHT%20Major%20leap%20forward%20in%20plans%20to%20save%20Streatham%20Hill%20Theatre%20as%20work%20begins%20on%20viability%20study.pdf

Calling all creatives!

The Friends of Streatham Hill Theatre’s campaign is calling on creative industry professionals to lend their support.

When we worked to publicise the crowdfund earlier in the year, the Friends were fortunate enough to receive the backing of Simon Callow CBE, Catherine Russell, Lolita Chakrabarti, Lucie Shorthouse, Samira Ahmed, Sir Mark Rylance and Baroness Floella Benjamin DBE, DL.  As we looked to reach out to others, we were amazed to find such strong past and present local creative industry connections, both in front of and behind the scenes.  This led us to put together our Vision Statement to send out to creative industry professionals, mostly, but not all, with Streatham or South London connections, who would want to see our wonderful ‘Sleeping Beauty’ of a theatre restored as a vibrant creative hub for the wider community.

We’re launching our list of individual creative industry supporters on the 91st birthday of Streatham Hill Theatre on the 20th November 2020.  In the meantime, we’re contacting creative industry companies and showing that they support the campaign by adding their logos here at our new website.   This is particularly important, as over the coming weeks, FEI, the consultants who won the tender for the viability study and economic impact assessment, will be wanting to look into any opportunities for collaboration as part of their studies.

We’d very much like to encourage any creative professionals or companies to email supporters@streathamhilltheatre.org to be included, and for those on social media to help us spread the word about the Friends of Streatham Hill Theatre’s ongoing campaign!

Helena Breck, Jenny Eastop, Jane Goddard & Matt Haskins
FoSHT’s Creative Vision Statement Group

How COVID-19 has affected the campaign.

When we started the campaign COVID hadn’t been heard of, there was a shortage of community space and workspace in Streatham and a desire in the community to save the practically empty SHT. This was an opportunity to help with the regeneration of the local area and local high street that was beginning to happen. It gathered wide support from the community, industry and local businesses. Streatham Space Project were supportive as they see the benefits of bring more footfall to Streatham with a bigger arts/culture/entertainment offer.

We were and remain clear that this revived building could not just be a theatre but had to have multiple uses, including working/meeting space, facilities for creatives and a potential home for creative organisations as well as event and performance spaces, food and beverage offerings etc.

As COVID has hit us, this need for flexibility and not being tied to a small number of offers has become more important. Post-COVID the potential for the revived building to help regenerate the local economy and bring the community back together will be even more important. Also, if business keeps working away from the office there may be the need for smaller co-working hubs more locally. The viability study and EIA will be looking at these issues and opportunities, and also consulting with other venues in the area.

Welcome to our website

We have spent some of our volunteer time creating a new, easier to use website. Please explore using the menu above to see more about the theatre’s heritage and our campaign to revive it. Then you can join the campaign and help us take it forward.

We now also have online photo and video galleries.

Our blog covers key events throughout the history of the building from the 1920s, and the story of our campaign right up to date:

The heritage of the lighting control systems

At our campaign meeting on 15th July 2020, Matt Haskins, international lighting designer, presented an illustrated history of the lighting control systems at the theatre. His slides are available here.

A vision for the future: July 2020

Our volunteer architecture team has created a vision of how the building can be adapted to suit future use as a flexible multi-purpose arts and culture centre, with workspace for creatives and small businesses. Here are some of the artists’ impressions.

Crowdfund Target Exceeded! Thank you! What’s happening next?

Thanks to your great support we reached the target before the deadline!

Since then we have been working with the Mayor of London & the GLA to make arrangements for their pledge to be paid – it will be released in stages. Meanwhile your pledge will soon be taken by Spacehive – watch out for messages from them. And Lambeth will be releasing their pledge too.

In recognition of your support, we have made you a member of the Friends – there’s no charge for membership. We have also put you on our email list for our regular newsletters with updates on the progress of the study project and the wider campaign. An archive of messages is available here. If you find you are not getting those newsletters, you can sign up to the list here. If you want to unsubscribe from the email list at anytime you can click the link in any of the messages you receive.

We also hold regular fortnightly online campaign meetings which you are very welcome to join in – details in the newsletters. The next one is also our Annual General Meeting where we elect our committee, and we will also be voting on charity status.

We are working on a tender to send out to potential providers for the viability study, and thanks to a grant from Theatres Trust we can extend the scope of work to include an economic impact assessment to help show the benefits a revived building can bring, especially as we exit COVID-19.

Thanks once again and watch out for updates on saving Streatham Hill Theatre.

Wow thanks, we hit the crowdfund target! And Lambeth adds £7,500!

Wow, we hit the target early! Thanks to everyone who has supported the campaign and pledged so far. The target has been a bit of a moving one as it includes estimated Spacehive platform and transaction charges which depend on the number and size of pledges, so a new pledge can change the target making it difficult to hit exactly, but thanks to those who tried that!

We’ll continue to keep the crowdfund open until the target date as any overfunding beyond the target can be used to support the campaign and go towards future phases, such as an Economic Impact Assessment to show the benefits to the local economy from regenerating the old theatre as a new arts and cultural centre.

AND IN BREAKING NEWS we’ve have heard from Lambeth that they are giving £7,500 towards the campaign which is a great boost. Thanks to everyone there who has been helping us. More to follow.