Teignbridge District Council’s announcement that plans have been passed for a new £6.8M complex signal a new and exciting phase in the continued regeneration of Teignmouth, writes Roger Smith, one of the organisers of the Teignmouth Arts Advisory Group.
The new centre is scheduled to replace the ageing Carlton Theatre that has become an eyesore and a far cry from the elegant Den Pavilion that once graced the seafront. The Pavilion opened in June 1930 at a cost of just £7,000 and was considered to be ‘a large and well-fitted hall’. It served the town well for many years with many famous acts performing on its’ stage.
During the war it cemented its place in history when the Seabees, the 28th Construction Battalion of the US Navy, used the building as their mess hall; their Battalion plaque was presented to the town and is now in the Carlton foyer as a reminder.
The late 1960s saw a redeveloped and newly named Carlton Theatre rise from the builders rubble complete with new stage, dressing rooms (with showers!), a new canopy entrance and Box Office completing the state-of-the-art design.
In recent years the Carlton has gone from strength-to-strength under the management of the Teignmouth Players and is still thriving, despite its outward appearance, as the home of live theatre and entertainment in the town, enhancing the facilities on offer and making it available to all .
The imaginative design for the new centre includes a 224 seat theatre, library, exhibition space, café, restaurant and bar is just one part of an exciting arts scene in the town with new galleries and music venues opening and the talent of local artists on display.
Shortly, Teignmouth Arts Advisory Group, (TAAG) hope to reopen the old Tomorrow’s Teignmouth building in Northumberland Place as a vibrant arts and community centre offering exhibition space, workshop and meeting areas at affordable rates for anyone who wants to use it, yet another part of the new Teignmouth
(image: artist’s impression of Teignmouth’s new art complex)
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