Ramsgate’s Granville Theatre ‘not sold’ says Thanet council

Granville Cinema by Mel Chennell

Thanet council has assured residents that rumours of the Granville Theatre in Ramsgate being sold with plans to demolish the building are incorrect.

Fears were raised on social media this week that the cinema and theatre site in Victoria Parade was due to be knocked down to make way for a new cafe. The building is owned by Thanet council.

A Thanet council spokesperson said: “The Granville Theatre has not been sold. There are no plans to demolish the theatre.”

The Granville is the town’s only multi-purpose entertainment venue. It takes its name from The Granville Hotel. The building was leased from Thanet District Council by Granville Theatre Ltd, made up of local shareholders who invested money to keep the venue going.

The group of more than 30 members, who raised some £135,000, was founded by residents including Ralph Hoult -who leads Starlite Entertainers – and Philip Shaw who was also the general manager.

The theatre’s patron is actress Brenda Blethyn. The building was listed as an asset of community value in 2019.

But  it is understood the lease expired last year and was handed back to Thanet council. Ralph said: “The lease ran out and Phillip Shaw handed the keys back to TDC last year, around the end of November.”
Ralph says funding had run out and an inability to open the venue due to the covid restrictions left the team with no choice but to relinquish the site.

The theatre was declared open by the Mayor of Ramsgate Alderman Austin in June 1947.

It is not yet clear whether the lease will put out to offer again although it is understood there have been local expressions of interest.