The Kings Theatre Southsea
The Kings Theatre is a highly popular community venue located in the heart of Albert Road, Southsea, Portsmouth.
The theatre opened on 30 September 1907 with a production of Charles 1 followed by 2 further productions of Sir Henry Irving’s Works.
After a successful campaign by AKTER (Action for Kings Theatre Restoration) in 2001 to keep the theatre open, the theatre was purchased by Portsmouth City Council and leased to the Kings Theatre Trust Ltd who undertook the restoration of the building.
The Kings theatre has a seating capacity of 1600 and a modern computerised booking system capable of handling the large demands for productions and tours.
Restoration work to the theatre started in 2007. Between October 2008 and February 2009, the original leaded dome, red painted wooden cupula, the deteriorated wooden statue (now named Aurora) and six lion figures were replicated in glass fibre by Jago Developments of Chichester and successfully installed by them (with the help of a 60 ton crane).
Since the restoration programme commenced, over £2 million has been spent on refurbishment using both professional and volunteer workers.
Currently the Kings Theatre Trust are looking to raise funds for a restoration of the currently dilapidated Tower room, in order to create a community art studio and exhibition space.
Since Portsmouth City Council bought the Kings in 2001, over 1,000,000 tickets have been sold. The Kings Theatre employs 16 full time staff, 10 part time staff and over 100 casual employees providing bar staff, ushers and stage crew, and also benefits from the help of over 100 stalwart volunteers.