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The Music Hall and Theatre History Site
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The Broadway Theatre, Peterborough

Formerly the Odeon Cinema / Cinema 100

Peterborough Theatres

The Broadway Theatre, Peterborough, formerly the Odeon Cinema - Courtesy Tony Dent

Above - The Broadway Theatre, Peterborough, formerly the Odeon Cinema - Courtesy Tony Dent

The Broadway Theatre, Peterborough was originaly built for Odeon Theatres Ltd, as a single screen Cinema with seating for 1,752 people. The Cinema was designed by Harry Weedon and opened on the 2nd of September 1937 with the film 'Theodora Goes Wild'.

Two months after the Odeon opened, the Embassy Theatre opened on the same street, and a strange quirk of fate has since seen the Embassy Theatre being converted into a cinema and then a pub and now shops and a nightclub, and the Odeon Cinema being converted into a Theatre, today known as the Broadway Theatre.

Modernised in the later part of the 1950s, and tripled in 1973, the Odeon was a successful Cinema for nearly 50 years until it finally closed in November 1991 when a new multiplex opened in the town. The Cinema then stood empty and boarded up for many years and fell into disrepair, but in 1997 Peter Boizot MBE bought the building and some adjoing land for a scheme which included a restaurant and art gallery, and the conversion of the former Cinema into a Theatre which opened in 1996 as 'Cinema 100'.

A Google StreetView Image of the Broadway Theatre, Peterborough - Click to Interact

Above - A Google StreetView Image of the Broadway Theatre, Peterborough - Click to Interact

In 2001 the Theatre was further redeveloped to the designes of the architect Tim Foster who extended the stage rearwards, added a glass cantilevered extension to the front of the building, and reclad the exterior in white glass mosaic. At the same time the Theatre was recarpeted, reseated, relit, and a new extended apron stage was fitted with a central square lift.

The Theatre changed hands in 2004 but was closed after a break in and a major fire in 2009 which damaged the stage and part of the stalls. The Theatre was later reopened in 2011 for a short while by 'StageLive' who had repaired and renovated the building in the later part of the previous year, but the Theatre was soon forced to close again after what the Stage Newspaper later reported as 'fraud', leaving it in 'financial disarray' (The Stage Newspaper, May 2017).

The Theatre then remained mostly dark, apart from the odd choral concert being performed there, until 2013 when Bill Kenwright LTD staged two successful seasons at the Theatre.

Despite failed plans in 2016 to redevelop the site and 'turn the Theatre into Luxury Apartments' the Theatre is now scheduled to reopen on Friday the 1st of September 2017. It's current auditorium and stage can be seen in the photograph below.

The Auditorium and Stage of the Broadway Theatre, Peterborough - Courtesy Josh Fortune

Above - The Auditorium and Stage of the Broadway Theatre, Peterborough in 2017 - Courtesy Josh Fortune

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