White Rock Theatre
Hastings, East Sussex
|Owner||HQ Theatres (in partnership with Hastings Borough Council)|
White Rock Theatre is a medium-scale receiving house venue owned by Hastings Borough Council situated on the seafront of Hastings, East Sussex, on the south coast of England. It has a seating capacity of 1066 (after the date of the Battle of Hastings) and it currently presents a varied programme of touring shows including opera, ballet, musicals, the Hastings Musical Festival and children's shows.
The original East Sussex Hospital was replaced with the White Rock Pavilion which was opened by Edward, Prince of Wales in April 1927. It was built for the Hastings Municipal Orchestra. The pavilion underwent a further re-modification in 1937 and again in 1985 when it was renamed the White Rock Theatre.
The auditorium is split on two levels – The Stalls and The Circle with an overall capacity of 1,066 seats. The Stalls is also split into flat and raked seating areas. The stage is 47 feet (14 m) wide and 31.6 feet (9.6 m) deep, with a 1/28 rake.
From its very beginning Hastings Borough Council ran the Theatre. As the years went by and the Theatre continued to run at a loss, the council decided to close the Theatre down. This announcement was met with the fierce opposition from local people and groups rallied round in support of the White Rock. In May 2002 Clear Channel Entertainment, a huge American organisation, took over management of the venue. In December 2005 Clear Channel Entertainment was spun off from the main body of Clear Channel and became Live Nation.
The Theatre has seen a selection of entertainment over the years including Motörhead, Russell Brand, Hot Chocolate, Eartha Kitt, Al Murray, Geri Halliwell, Jools Holland, Derren Brown, Ricky Tomlinson, Tim Vine and Greg Davies just to name a few.
The venue houses a Café, the Stalls bar and the Circle Bar. Also part of the venue is the Campbell Room and Sussex Hall – both used for community groups, corporate hospitality and private functions.
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