Work in Progress
Located in Victoria Parade, Ramsgate, Kent, the Granville Theatre complex derived its name from the Granville Hotel, Ramsgate opposite, and was the town’s sole multi-purpose entertainment venue.
Opened originally by the Mayor of Ramsgate in 1947 as a live theatre, the Granville was subsequently divided into two auditoriums, retaining the live theatre element and adding cinema facilities.
Built with two large cinema screens, lounge seats and free parking, the main cinema had a large flat performance space that was used for small-scale performances, conferences and functions. The second screen auditorium had a fully equipped 30ft stage used for visiting professional, local amateur and in-house theatre productions. The complex also had a separate dance studio, theatre bar and facilities for the disabled.
In March 2020, the theatre and cinema closed amid the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and fell into disrepair.
Having sat unused since closing, Thanet District Council invited local interested parties to submit bids in early 2022 for the once distinct and frequently visited feature of Ramsgate.
Ownership of the Granville was granted to Westwood One Ltd, a local family-run organisation with previous experience successfully operating businesses in Thanet. Their proposal for the Granville sees the disused theatre completely refurbished to provide a high quality production, dance and cinema space comprising; a 600+ seat auditorium, complete regeneration of the theatre space, a sea-view café, exhibition space, a co-working space, a workshop and education space.
A key priority of the plans is to provide jobs and training opportunities for the local creative community, with an aim to see the building completely repaired and brought back up to standard by Q2 of 2023.
The refurbishment works are ongoing and, as a local resident, Jason was keen to be involved and see the refurbishment take place in a considered and aesthetically appropriate way. He was approached by the new owners to provide some initial design input around the interior planning and layout for the 600+ seat auditorium, as shown below, and he is also working on the interior design of the cafe and bar areas.
The Granville Theatre’s Patron is the celebrated and award-winning actress Brenda Blethyn OBE.