A brief history of ERT

Our unique and beautiful building has stood at the end of Lord Robert’s Road in Beverley for over 100 years. In that time it’s been many different things for many different reasons – East Riding theatre hasn’t always been a theatre…

OUR BUILDING… 

Our building used to be a Baptist chapel in the early 1900s, a space where Beverlonians came to get married, christened, pray or attend Sunday school.

THE FOUNDATION STONE… 

for the building was laid in 1909. Notice how the striking Art Nouveau-Gothic style of the building, with its red brick and white terracotta exterior, reflects the Flemish-inspired design of County Hall just opposite. The building was designed by architects Garside & Pennington of Pontefract and Castleford, and officially opened in 1910 to a congregation of 400.
 
The building fell out of use as a religious setting in 1964 when it was handed over to the East Riding of Yorkshire Council. It later became home to the East Riding Archives from 1996 to 2007.

DID YOU KNOW…

Universal Productions filmed Dad’s Army inside our building in 2014. The entrance foyer became Captain Mainwaring’s office and the main auditorium was used as the village hall. The timely financial injection helped us build our stage and café bar!

FOR A TIME… 

Our building space was used for vaccinations. People from across the area came here to be inoculated against diseases like measles and diphtheria. But eventually the building, surplus to local government requirements, would become a storage space left to slowly fall into disrepair.

IN 2013…

after a voluntary board raised funds to undertake initial surveys of the property, together with 80 volunteers and some local businesses who kindly donated their goods and services, the building was renovated as an independent theatre.
East Riding Theatre finally opened in 2014 with a production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. And since then has proudly been the area’s only producing theatre.

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