|Address||Strode College, Church Road
Strode Theatre is a theatre and cinema in Street, Somerset, England. Built with funds from Clarks brothers, when plans were drawn up for a college. The community theatre opened in 1963 and was renovated and expanded during the 1990s to include larger foyer areas, box office and rehearsal/meeting rooms. In 2016, the rehearsal space was converted into a multipurpose studio space, with retractable seating for 64 people.
The theatre is part of Strode College and provides rehearsal and drama space for students from the college. It received financial support from Somerset County Council, Mendip District Council and Street Parish Council.
The building's structure is conventional, with a proscenium arch stage. The two tiers of seats are set at a steep gradient, with the option to just use the stalls for smaller performances. The orchestra pit is convertible to allow for different types of performances.
The Strode Theatre opened on 5 October 1963 with a performance by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. It was funded by the Clark Foundation, set up by the Clarks brothers, in response to plans to build a college nearby. By 1984, the theatre was receiving 30,000 visitors each year. In 1994, the theatre was redecorated during works which included new carpets and heating system, costing £115,000 (equivalent to £206,280 in 2015).
In 1999 the theatre was expanded with a new foyer, bar and box office along with rehearsal space, meeting room and stage access, at a cost of £750,000 by the Steel, Coleman Davis partnership who received an award for the design. The expansion was funded by the Arts Council England, and it was at this point that it became part of Strode College, and began use as a cinema as well as associating with organisations such as Strode Opera.
The Strode Theatre is named for a 17th-century politician and philanthropist, William Strode.
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