Perth Theatre restoration

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Summary

Sector
Parks and leisure
Value
£15 million
Location
Perth
Status
Completed
Customer
Horsecross Arts Ltd, Perth & Kinross Council
Completion
September 2017
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Creating a theatre for all

Perth Theatre is one of Scotland's oldest repertory theatres, with roots dating back to 1589. The auditorium has been fully restored and new accessible facilities constructed, comprising a 200-seat studio theatre, foyer, bar, restaurant and workshop spaces for community projects.
 

 Perth Theatre restoration

Providing for another century of creativity

Opened in 1901, Perth Theatre is one of Scotland's oldest and most historic repertory theatres. It includes a historic Edwardian auditorium with beautiful period features.

The building had a complex layout that was difficult for theatre-goers to access and move around in, and also required additional modern facilities.

The historic spaces have been restored to their original splendour and the venue as a whole will be redeveloped.

Robertson Tayside demolished a three-storey extension, originally completed in 1985, to make way for a new triple-height space including an accessible foyer, bar, restaurant and 200-capacity studio theatre, which is be used for small to mid-scale music and drama performances.

Robertson Specialist Division applied external wall insulation to the old building to bring it up to modern standards, and finished it with specialist render. The external facade was brought flush with the new building, which was also finished using the same specialist render.

The B-listed, Edwardian auditorium has been restored to its former glory. All original features such as the mouldings, plasterwork, and the upper circle seating (often referred to as 'the gods') were reinstated. An orchestra area has also been introduced, and sightlines, lighting and ventilation improved.
 

Cultural, social and economic benefits

The theatre's restoration and redevelopment provides cultural, social, educational and economic benefits to both the Perth area and Scotland.

The new facilities provide new community and creative learning spaces, including a home for Perth Youth Theatre. It also improves accessibility throughout the building, including providing level access for the first time with a lift to all other levels.

Artefacts discovered during the project, such as ticket stubs from 1912, went on show, as part of a collection of historic memorabilia co-ordinated by the theatre's Memory Collective team.

The theatre reopened in late 2017 on schedule for the Christmas pantomime season.