About us & hire

History

 

The Norbury Theatre & Cinema is situated inside Norbury House, an Art Deco building which started life as a luxury hotel - thought to rival even the most luxurious premises. The life of the building as a hotel was reasonably short-lived, it having being used as a military hospital in WWII.

 

The Norbury Theatre came into being in 1962 for the sole purpose for local amateur societies having a venue for performance. There had been a few available halls including a new modern cinema built in the Thirties as was the Winter Gardens stage. However, in the Sixties the cinema could not be hired anymore due to likely damage to the new wide screens and the Winter Gardens stage was demolished to make way for a revamp of that building so it was imperative that the amateur performers find a new home. 

 

Droitwich Spa Limited owned the Norbury property and part of the hotel was already let to the committee in 1961 for the construction of scenery for shows that were performed in the various halls. Eventually the old dining room, bridge room and parts of the old kitchens of the Norbury were offered at a rent of £250 pa for a three year lease, this to be payable at the end of the three years, when hopefully the company had amassed enough money to pay the debt;  the company only having just been formed and had no financial foundation.     

 

A public meeting was held at the Winter Gardens to find out if there was enough interest in going ahead with forming a company to use the offered premises. Bill Budd was elected the Chairman and Peter Mellors the Director at the meeting and Jean Philpott became the Secretary of the Committee. There were many in the audience who thought the proposition would end in tatters but the new committee had other ideas and their first meeting was held at the Rifleman’s Arms. The first question was ‘what are we to do?’ The answer was take off our coats and roll up our sleeves and then secure our part of the property, which unfortunately was in a very run down condition. Various social events were organised to raise funds to get things started. A dance at the Raven, coffee mornings and the like. The owner of the Raven, Mr Platts, was a very good friend of the company. I don’t think we have stopped to look back since.

 

As a theatre company, we share Norbury House with some 96 other flats. The theatre takes up the largest area of the building, including dressing rooms on the first floor, extensive properties storage in the cellars and scenery in the old kitchens. And, of course, not forgetting the auditorium, foyer and stage area.

 

Hire Information

 

The Norbury Theatre is available for hire for a wide variety of events including plays, musicals, concerts, stand-up comedy, parties, conferences and other events. The theatre can be hired as a whole or we can do our best to accommodate your needs with just certain sections of the building.

 

The 'Skylight Room' has been converted into a small, studio-style performance space to seat around 40 people, making it ideal for smaller productions. If you are interested in receiving more information about this new space please contact us by using the link below.

 

If you are interested in hiring us, please submit your details using the form on the 'Contact Us' page.