Catford’s 90-year-old Broadway Theatre is set for a £7 million renovation which will see it remain closed throughout Lewisham’s year as London borough of culture.

The theatre was closed to the public in 2020 after urgent health and safety issues were identified with the Grade II listed building.

The council-funded restoration, starting this month, will see the auditorium, foyers, bar areas and toilets given a contemporary overhaul.

It is expected that the works will take around a year to complete, meaning the theatre will be unable to play a role in Lewisham’s year as London Borough of Culture 2022.

Cllr André Bourne, Cabinet Member for Culture said: “There’s a huge amount of fondness for The Broadway Theatre among locals so we’re excited to get going with its restoration.

“It’s an important part of Catford’s physical and cultural landscape - bringing with it a rich and varied history, which includes hosting some of the biggest names in entertainment.

“However, it is an old building and therefore requires substantial maintenance.

“As we get ready to launch our incredible Borough of Culture programme, it’s all the more important we invest in our arts heritage.

“We’re happy to have secured the £7 million needed to give the theatre a new lease of life as it approaches its 90th birthday, making it more inclusive and ensuring it meets audiences’ expectations for comfort and quality.”

Funding for the work comes from the council’s capital programme, which sets aside money for investment into assets of long-term benefit to the community.

The refurbishment will be carried out by Rooff Construction Limited, who will oversee enhancements including improved accessibility, upgraded seating and bars, new energy efficient mechanical, electrical and fire alarm systems, new digital signage at the front of the building, and updated CCTV systems.

The building last underwent significant refurbishment in 2001, when the layout was altered, and internal spaces were repurposed.

The theatre, opened in 1932 was designed by architects Bradshaw, Gass and Hope, hosting stars such as Tony Bennett, Gladys Knight, The Four Tops and Morecambe and Wise.

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