The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Gaiety Theatre in Ayr to close "temporarily"

THE stage and auditorium areas of Ayr Gaiety Theatre will be "temporarily" closed from 31 March next year, according to a statement from South Ayrshire Council today.

The theatre will be examined, and a report compiled detailing any building work or necessary improvements required in order to meet modern operating demands and health and safety standards.

South Ayrshire Council says that the Gaiety Theatre celebrated its centenary in 2002 and, like many buildings of its age, has to be constantly maintained and monitored to ensure that it is in good working order.

The Council has commissioned CRPG (a specialist company in updating and renovating threatres). In order to carry out an examination of the theatre and to produce an accurate report, access to all areas of the auditorium and stage areas will be required.

South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Carrier for Community Services, Councillor Margaret Toner said: “The Gaiety Theatre is a great asset for Ayr and South Ayrshire, but like many older buildings, it requires high maintenance. The report that has been commissioned will let us know the extent of any work that should or could be carried out to look after the building and maintain it to the proper standards.

“Initially the stage and audience area will be examined, and this will mean that the theatre will be closed. Popplewells Café Bar and the Box Office will remain open while the examination of the theatre takes place, and this will mean that the public can still use the facilities, and the staff can continue to work there.

“I am looking on the positive side that a temporary closure and some inconvenience now will eventually lead to better facilities that will benefit the artists who perform, the audiences and the staff. Ayr Town Hall has recently been refurbished, and many artists will be able to change venues and perform there while the Gaiety is temporarily closed.

“During the temporary closure Council staff will carry out consultation with the public to see if the way in which the Gaiety operates can be improved. The type of artists and performances that appear on the stage will be looked at to see if what is being produced meets what the public would really like to see. It is an ideal time to try and encourage younger people, and others who do not currently use the Gaiety’s facilities, to let us know how they would like to see it evolve in the future.”

The Gaiety Theatre has a total of 584 seats on three separate levels that have been used by local people and visitors to the area for over 100 years. There have been a number of changes made to the theatre since it was built - including an extension, refurbishment, wheelchair access, infra-red sound system for the hearing impaired and a café bar and studio.

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