Tonight (May 27) the doors of Ramsgate’s Granville Theatre reopen for the first time in some three years.
Westwood One Ltd, which also operates Under 1 Roof Thanet in Pysons Road and Under 1 Roof Canterbury, completed the purchase of the site from Thanet council last October and has been working on renovations since that date in preparation for the reopening.
The company, run by Ramsgate sisters Zahra and Parisa Tarjomani and Pyramid Martial Arts & Just Kids Parties owner Matt Milchard, has brought the site back into use as a theatre and cinema with The Seaview and Cocktail bars, restaurant and The Studio rehearsal space.
The opening gala will include performances, speeches and a champagne reception as well as giving people a chance to look around the renovated venue and meet the team. Tickets for the event are now sold out.
The venue has one auditorium with a 600 seat capacity. Mum-of-one Zahra, who with sister Parisa also heads up Regency Performance Arts C.I.C and Regency Productions, says the increased capacity means the venue can host a larger variety of shows, including professional and touring productions. It also means the Granville is currently Thanet’s largest open theatre.
A packed programme of shows is scheduled, kicking off with The Addams Family by Margate Operatic Society and then including Michael Starring Ben direct from the London Palladium, Stranger Sings, Motown, Burlesque, Bombay Bicycle Club, Magic of Motown, The Makings of a Murderer and more.
The Granville, which began life as a concert enclosure in 1914, is now the last remaining cinema of the three that used to be in the town, including the Odeon and the King’s cinemas, and it is the town’s only theatre building.
The old Granville Pavilion was damaged beyond repair in World War Two and was demolished. The New Granville Theatre, as it was originally known, was declared open by the Mayor of Ramsgate Alderman Austin in June 1947.