The Lighthouse (Poole)
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|Arts centre, Theatre and Cinema|
|Founded||Poole in 1978|
It has a 669-seat theatre, a 1,500 seat concert hall, a 150-seat studio, a 105-seat cinema, an Image Lab/media suite, a large gallery for photography and digital art, a restaurant and three function rooms. The concert hall is home to the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
History, development and funding
The Poole Arts Centre (Towngate Theatre, Wessex Hall and Ashley Cinema) opened in April 1978 to serve the South East Dorset conurbation. The venue closed in May 2002 for an £8.5 million radical refurbishment and overhaul. This was paid for by Arts Counc Lottery Awards, the Borough of Poole and through private donations. It reopened as Lighthouse, Poole's Centre for the Arts in October 2002. The refurbishment added new extensive facilities including a modern cinema, expanded concert hall and photography labs. Other additions included expanded customer facilities and a new restaurant.
The Lighthouse receives additional funding from the Arts Council England. In 2005/06 £230,000; in 2006/07 they received £330,000; in 2007/08 they were to receive a total of £339,080. The Lighthouse is currently owned by the Poole Arts Trust Ltd.
Programming and types of shows
Lighthouse provides a wide-ranging programme, including:
- Mid-scale musical tours (such as Fame and Blood Brothers)
- Opera (annually from English Touring Opera)
- Dance (both contemporary and classical)
- Plays (ranging from classics such as Romeo and Juliet, An Inspector Calls to more modern day 'kitchen sink dramas')
- Pantomime (Cinderella for 2006/7 starring Bobby Crush, Peter Duncan & Brian Cant)
- Weekly performances on Wednesday nights from the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
- Regular performances from the Wessex Youth Orchestra
- World music
- Bands and artists have included: KISS, The Fall, The Damned, David Essex, The Who, Ultravox, The Clash, Kate Bush, The Smiths, Oasis, Public Image Ltd, Tina Turner, Kings of Leon, U2, Bryan Ferry, The Wonder Stuff, Blondie, Paul Weller, The Teardrop Explodes, King Crimson, New Order, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Page & Plant, East 17, Wham!, The Cult, Rufus Wainwright, Kirsty MacColl, The Stranglers, Doves, Ian Brown, The Style Council, Fun Loving Criminals, Lulu, G4, Tears For Fears
- Small scale children's theatre
- Small scale adult theatre
Eclectic mix of world cinema, and recent releases normally presented 4–8 weeks after general release.