Beach Huts proprietors among first to try out prototype

Zoe Robertson of St Annes Beach Huts tries out a new prototype seat for the Lowther Pavilion, watched by husband Stuart and  Linda Hampson from the Lowther

Zoe Robertson of St Annes Beach Huts tries out a new prototype seat for the Lowther Pavilion, watched by husband Stuart and Linda Hampson from the Lowther

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The latest business backer of the Love Lowther fund-raising campaign has been among the first to sample new-look seats for Lytham’s theatre.

Work begins this summer on the development of Lowther Pavilion with the replacement of the main auditorium roof and the complete re-seating of the auditorium.

This will improve visibility for audiences and flexibility for the theatre

Theatregoers can see what the new seats will be like as a prototype has been installed in the foyer of the theatre.

Among the first to try it out were Stuart and Zoe Robertson of St Annes Beach Huts, who have sponsored a seat in the auditorium – so Lowther’s Linda Hampson took the prototype down to the Beach Huts for the couple to try it out.

Lowther general manager Roger McCann said: “We’re completely redesigning the layout of the auditorium and will have over 300 seats on the raised tier section, compared to just 133 now.

“This will improve visibility for audiences and flexibility for the theatre. At the moment it takes us four hours to change from theatre seating to a flat floor for dances and exhibitions and this will reduce that time to about an hour meaning we can do far more.

“The new seats are more accessible as they fold up completely to give wider access along the row. The rows will also be staggered so that you’re not sitting immediately behind the person in front, which can be frustrating for lots of people.”

The prototype seat, which Roger is anxious to point out is not necessarily the colour that will be used, will be in the Lowther foyer for the next two months.

Stuart said: “As someone involved in the tourism industry in Lytham St Annes, I’m only too aware of the importance of places like Lowther Pavilion in making sure that we remain an attractive visitor destination.

“Like many people, I’ve sat in the seats at the Lowther and I’m delighted that they’re now being replaced.

“I’m really pleased that we have been able to help bring this much loved theatre up to modern standards.”

As part of the Love Lowther fundraising drive, people can donate £200 to sponsor a seat and have a plaque with their name or the name of a loved one on the back of the seat.

Roger added: “Many people have fond memories of the theatre and have asked to sponsor specific seats and given us seat numbers. That’s presenting a bit of a challenge because the seating configuration will be completely different but we’ll be looking at the new plan with them and agreeing the nearest equivalent.”

Seats are still available for sponsorship. Details from www.lowtherpavilion.co.uk/lovelowther or (01253) 
794221.