Tyne Theatre and Opera House is part of a national initiative launched by Theatres Trust to prevent the permanent closure of hundreds of UK theatres.
Tyne Theatre and Opera House is a Victorian Grade 1 listed theatre in Newcastle upon Tyne. The theatre is unique due to its beautifully lavish auditorium, outstanding acoustics, and complete set of Victorian under-stage machinery. The dramatic and ongoing loss of income caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that without urgent support, the future of our historic venue is in question.
We’ve recently been granted funding from the Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund – this will enable us to cover our essential outgoings until March 2021. However, this grant does not help the theatre recoup the income we have lost so far, neither does it help us beyond March 2021, a point in the future that is still clouded in uncertainty. As a venue, we are working to secure our own future, whatever that may look like, from March 2021 onwards. We’re wanting to raise £30,000 which will go towards essential building work on the theatre – necessary to enable us to continue to offer shows in this ‘new normal’.
We are currently working hard to ensure that we are in a position to welcome back audiences and continue to offer something for everyone in Newcastle upon Tyne when it is safe to do so. We are already one of the first venues of our size to offer shows within our region, and we want to be able to continue to do so in a financially viable way. The theatre has a rich history; it has been visited, supported, and protected by locals and theatre lovers for over 150 years. We now need your help, more than ever before, to secure the future of our beautiful venue.
You can support us by making a donation or pledging on a reward. Your support will see that we can continue with our 150+ year ethos, to operate as a 'Theatre for everyone'.
Tyne Theatre & Opera House Preservation Trust is a registered charity. Charity Number: 1120746
Please note: our last date to post out merchandise before Christmas is 15th December. If you pledge for one of our merch rewards after this date, you will receive your reward in January
Get in touch if you have any questions regarding the campaign, rewards or anything else at: [email protected]
Why are we crowdfunding?
Like many theatres and venues around the country, COVID-19 has put us at risk of permanent closure. To have a future, we need help to ensure that we are able to continue to bring arts and entertainment to audiences, during times of restrictions, as well as when this unprecedented situation has come to an end.
Since 2015, the Theatre has operated as a privately run, not-for-profit business. All profits and funds raised are reinvested into the Theatre with the aim to return it to its former glory, ensuring that it is maintained for future generations. Essential repairs and improvements such as upgrading auditorium seating, improving toilet facilities, and updating the lighting system have already been started. We are now working towards funding the reconfiguration of unused office space into additional customer use areas, refurbishment to provide performance space for smaller events and enhancing our building for use during both socially distancing and full capacity use moving forward. We're in need of funds to help continue this work to future-proof the Tyne Theatre & Opera House as an independent venue.
We're looking to raise £30,000 which will help us cover the cost of this essential building work, that will allow us to operate in a financially viable way in the face of Covid-19 restrictions, and improve our customer experience for all events going forward.
About Tyne Theatre & Opera House
The Tyne Theatre & Opera House is a Grade 1 listed Theatre, built in 1867 by industrialist and politician Joseph Cowen who envisioned ‘a Theatre for everyone’ during a time of heavy industry when life was hard. The warmth, light and escapism of the Theatre answered a major need for working people.
Over 150 years later, this remains at the heart of our ethos. We’re proud to be a warm and welcoming venue, with a varied programme of events to appeal to all.
The Tyne Theatre has had a rich history, having served as a venue for drama, opera, musical spectacles, pantomimes and cinema until its initial closure, following the theatre's cinema years, in 1974.
Following its closure, a ‘Save the Stoll’ campaign started by Mr Jack Dixon saw the formation of The New Tyne Theatre and Opera House Company Limited - an independent registered charity with the aim to restore and reopen the theatre for stage performances. The building's significance as a heritage venue was also founded with the discovery of the original 1867 stage machinery - situ and intact.
This restoration project was a success and saw theatre productions return to the building again. On 25th December 1985, there was a fire in the backstage area of the theatre, leading to significant damage of the Victorian wooden stage machinery and stage. Miraculously, the task of rebuilding began almost immediately and the theatre was reopened and its stage machinery operational again less than a year after the fire.
From 1987, the theatre has seen various partnerships and, following the New Tyne Theatre and Opera House Company going into administration in 1995, buyers who helped contribute to keeping the theatre in use.
In March 2008, Newcastle City Council was able to purchase the theatre and later that year transfer the freehold ownership to the Tyne Theatre and Opera House Preservation Trust. Initially managed by SMG Europe, who stepped away from the running of the theatre in December 2014, the building is now managed by Tyne Theatre & Opera House Ltd, a subsidiary created by Tyne Theatre & Opera House Preservation Trust.
As an independent venue since 2015, due to the hard work from a small and dedicated team, the Tyne Theatre & Opera House has seen success again. We’re proud to offer a warm and welcoming venue, hosting a variety of events to appeal to all. Since 2015, all profits raised have gone directly to the Tyne Theatre and Opera House Preservation Trust, to maintain and improve the building for the benefit of present and future generations.
The COVID-19 pandemic has meant a catastrophic loss of income for the Tyne Theatre & Opera House that survives exclusively on income from shows and donations. In our 150+ year history, the Tyne Theatre & Opera House has overcome numerous hurdles, but only due to crucial support from the local community and those passionate about heritage and theatre. Now, more than ever, we need your support.
About Save Our Theatres
In villages, towns and cities across the country, theatres are at the heart of their community. Places to come together, to be inspired and be entertained. Theatres are where our best-loved actors learn their craft and thousands of others learn valuable skills.
But we risk losing this forever.
Theatres saw their main source of income disappear in an instant when they closed in March in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Six months later, we still don’t know when they will be able to reopen fully. A decision won’t be made until November at the earliest – too late for most to put on their annual pantomime, which often provides the income to support the theatre for the rest of the year.
This ongoing uncertainty puts theatres in a perilous situation. The government’s bailout is spread across all cultural organisations and certainly won’t be enough to save all of the UK’s theatres.
Every day theatres are facing the tough decision to make staff redundant and to close their doors until next year. And there is a real risk that those closures could be permanent.
Without urgent support, we could lose our nation’s amazing theatres. Please help us to make sure our theatres survive this crisis and will be there to be enjoyed by future generations.