North Pier Theatre has cancelled all its summer shows with immediate effect.
Pier owner Peter Sedgwick says the shock move at the pier he and his family bought earlier this year, is to allow for essential restoration and refurbishment to guarantee the venue’s future.
Last night’s Cannon & Ball Show was the last production to be staged before the closure. The other shows affected are Derek Acorah, The Platters, The Grumbleweeds, Jake & Elwood’s Blues Brothers Tribute, Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs and Rock & Roll Paradise. All were due to run until the end of October.
Mr Sedgwick said: “North Pier Theatre will be closed in the short term as we begin a schedule of essential refurbishment and specialist restoration that cannot be carried out during the harsh winter months.
“I sincerely apologise to all our patrons who have booked tickets to the shows and a full refund policy is currently in place.”
A mutual decision to close early was agreed between the owners and Duggie Chapman, who promoted and produced this year’s shows in the theatre.
Mr Sedgwick added: “The development programme has been brought forward to ensure the long term viability of the theatre and both secure and protect its reputation as a legendary entertainment venue.”
The theatre plans include a full refurbishment of the dressings rooms, stage door entrance, green rooms and back of house areas.
All the dressings rooms require modern facilities including new showers, sinks and toilets as well as decorating and furnishing all the rooms to a stylish and comfortable standard, said Mr Sedgwick.
One of the major aspects requiring milder weather is the replacement of all windows that surround the theatre and the main dressing rooms overlooking the sea.
Ticket holders were being contacted directly by the box office or Ticketmaster to arrange refunds. For queries anyone else should contact Ticketmaster direct on 0844 847 24 52 or North Pier box office on (01253) 623304.
Mr Sedgwick said: “The location of North Pier Theatre is unlike any entertainment venue in the world – however the feasibility and logistics for essential maintenance and refurbishment works taking place on a pier in the middle of the sea, makes for a huge challenge for all involved and we have to consider both location and extreme weather conditions.”