Strode Theatre

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Strode Theatre
Strode Theatre, Street, Somerset - - 81198.jpg
Strode Theatre is located in Somerset
Strode Theatre
Strode Theatre
Address Strode College, Church Road
Coordinates 51°07′47″N 2°44′00″W / 51.1298°N 2.7334°W / 51.1298; -2.7334
Type Provincial
Capacity 343 seats
Opened 1963

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.[1] It received financial support from Somerset County Council, Mendip District Council and Street Parish Council.[2]

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.[3]


The Strode Theatre opened on 5 October 1963 with a performance by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.[4] It was funded by the Clark Foundation, set up by the Clarks brothers,[5] in response to plans to build a college nearby. By 1984, the theatre was receiving 30,000 visitors each year.[3] In 1994, the theatre was redecorated during works which included new carpets and heating system, costing £115,000 (equivalent to £206,280 in 2015).[6]

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.[7] The expansion was funded by the Arts Council England,[8] 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.[9]

The Strode Theatre is named for a 17th-century politician and philanthropist, William Strode.


  1. ^ "Strode Theatre". Strode College. Retrieved 1 September 2016. 
  2. ^ "Strode Theatre Funding". Strode Theatre. Retrieved 1 September 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "A functional venue in a mystical place". The Stage. 1 November 1984. Retrieved 31 August 2016. 
  4. ^ "Strode Theatre". Total Archived from the original on 31 January 2010. Retrieved 1 September 2016. 
  5. ^ Palmer, Mark (2013). Clarks: Made to Last: The story of Britain's best-known shoe firm (Illustrated ed.). Profile Books. ISBN 9781847658456. 
  6. ^ "Snaps". The Stage. 15 September 1994. Retrieved 31 August 2016. 
  7. ^ "Strode Theatre". Steel Coleman Davis Partnership. Archived from the original on 2 May 2006. Retrieved 1 September 2016. 
  8. ^ "Strode Theatre". Bailey partnership. Archived from the original on 12 February 2010. Retrieved 1 September 2016. 
  9. ^ Siraut, M. C.; Thacker, A. T.; Williamson, Elizabeth (2006). "Parishes: Street". A history of the county of Somerset. 9: 165–198. Retrieved 1 September 2016.