Hunstanton’s Princess Theatre set for new lease of life?
Norfolk Theatre's future could rest with local consortium - Searles Leisure Resort, Hallard Entertainments, International Music and Leisure and James Johnson and Co
The future of Hunstanton's Princess Theatre has taken another twist as a local consortium looks set to take it over.
The theatre closed its doors in November after the previous leaseholder C and R Cinemas, which rented the building from West Norfolk Council, shut up shop.
The council had rented out the building to save cash and it had been hoped that the C and R deal would see it remain open without needing a subsidy.
But a note appeared on the door in November saying the building was closed and the keys were being handed back to the council.
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Now it is reported that Hunstone Productions, formed by four representatives from Hallard Entertainments, Searles Leisure Resort, International Music and Leisure and James Johnson and Co Accountancy Ltd will be running the building.
Council leader Nick Daubney said negotiations were at their final stage and he was hopeful the new deal would go ahead allowing the theatre to re-open.
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He said the Princess was a 'major part' of Hunstanton's economy and he was looking forward to seeing how the future developed.
The new leaseholders, all local businesses, are said to be looking to re-establish a summer season at the theatre, along with Saturday night shows, film club and seasonal pantomimes.
Prior to C and R taking over the theatre it was run by the borough council which was funding the venue to the tune of �300,000 each year which the authority wanted to save.
Staff from King's Lynn's Corn Exchange, also owned by the council, were drafted in to help ensure a local production by the Theatre Club went ahead as planned before Christmas but other shows were cancelled and refunds made.
The Princess originally opened in 1932 as a cinema and was taken over by West Norfolk Council in 1981 before being leased to C and R, which also runs the Majestic Cinema in King's Lynn, from September last year.