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|The Marlowe Theatre|
|Capacity||1,200 on three levels|
|Reopened||4 October 2011|
|Years active||1984 – present|
It closed in March 2009 for redevelopment and a brand-new Marlowe Theatre reopened on 4 October 2011.
The theatre was named after the playwright Christopher Marlowe, who was born and attended school in the city. In front of the present theatre is a 19th-century statue of a Muse (Marlowe is known as the Muses' darling) surrounded by small effigies of characters from Marlowe's plays.
First building 
The theatre previously occupied another site on St Margaret's Street, Canterbury which was demolished in 1982.
Second building 
The second building in The Friars was built in 1933 as the Friars Cinema, where on 11 May 1944 the film A Canterbury Tale received its world premiere. It reopened as the second Marlowe Theatre in July 1984, an event marked by the reinauguration of the Canterbury Festival. Though immensely popular as a venue, the converted cinema was a large space rather unsuited to a theatre. More seats were also needed to meet the demand for tickets, with shows regularly selling out months in advance.
By the turn of the 21st century, the converted cinema building was reaching the end of its useful life, and the Marlowe closed for redevelopment in March 2009. The last performance in the building was a gala performance called A Night Of A Thousand Stars, which took place on Sunday, 22 March 2009.
Redevelopment and the Third Building 
Canterbury City Council was advised that an entirely new theatre would cost more than redeveloping The Marlowe on its existing site (there being no suitable alternative site available), and therefore decided in 2005 to give the go-ahead to a multi-million pound redevelopment of the theatre, with the working title of the New Marlowe Theatre Project. In March 2007 Keith Williams was announced as the chosen architect for the project.
The estimated cost was £25.6 million at 2008 prices. The old theatre building was demolished, and the new building containing two new auditoria (the main auditorium with 1,200 seats, stalls, slips, balcony and electronically adjustable acoustics; and The Marlowe Studio – a flexible space to accommodate a wide range of performances and creative activities, with around 150 seats) created alongside new catering facilities, a bar on each floor, a cafe and better access for the public, staff and theatrical companies. The project has provided more parking spaces for people with disabilities and a new, landscaped riverside walk connects the Marlowe directly to the banks of the River Stour, creating an entirely new public realm within the city. Construction by main contractors ISG Jackson began in 2009 and the 3rd Marlowe Theatre building was formally opened to great celebration by HRH The Earl of Wessex on 4 October 2011. The new Marlowe has subsequently won numerous prizes including both RIBA and Civic Trust Awards.
The main auditorium presents the largest touring productions, made possible by the increased seating capacity of the new theatre. The programme of shows and performances offers audiences a mixture of plays, major West End musicals, ballet, contemporary dance, opera, stand-up comedy, orchestral concerts, music gigs and children's shows.
The Marlowe Theatre presents an annual pantomime show. In 2008/09, over 81,000 people attended Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, making it the most successful pantomime in the theatre's history. The production starred Emma Barton, Stephen Mulhern, Dave Lee, Ben Roddy, Valerie Cutko, Phil Holden, Ray Griffiths and others.
The Marlowe Theatre's pantomime is produced with Evolution Pantomimes, who produce number of pantomimes across the country. Past stars in Marlowe Theatre pantomimes have included Natalie Imbruglia, Martine McCutcheon, Danniella Westbrook, Shelia Ferguson, Shaun Williamson, Daniel MacPherson, Robert Powell and Lewis Collins. list of marlowe pantomimes
mother goose 1989/1990
peter pan 1992/1993
snow whight 1993/1994
dick whittington 1994/1995
jack and the beanstalk 1995/1996
beauty and the beast 1997/1998
snow whight 1998/1999
peter pan 1999 /2000
dick whittington 2002/2003
snow whight 2003/2004
sleeping beauty 2004/2005
jack and the beanstalk 2006/2007
snow whight 2008/2009
peter pan 2009/2010
robin hood 2010/2011
sleping beauty 2012 2013
jack and the beanstalk 2013 /2014
The Marlowe Youth Theatre 
The Marlowe Theatre runs a programme of weekly theatre workshops for young people, in partnership with Wide Eyed Theatre company. In summer 2008 a large-scale youth theatre summer project called Lost Things took place, resulting in performances on the main stage of the Marlowe Theatre. The Marlowe Youth Theatre now has a permanent home in The Marlowe Studio.
The Marlowe Friends 
The Marlowe Friends, formed in 1992, now has over 12,000 members, making it the largest theatre friends membership scheme in the country. Members can take part in a highly popular programme of theatre events, outings and activities throughout the year.
Notable previous employees 
Comedian Jon Holmes worked at the Marlowe as Deputy Chief Electrician in the late 1990s, lighting and mixing shows including Aspects of Love, The Rocky Horror Show and various pantomimes.