Growing Support for Campaign to Save The Cecil Hepworth Playhouse, Walton on Thames

Save Cecil Hepworth Playhouse Walton-on-Thames Elmbridge

Save The Cecil Hepworth Playhouse

“Our local theatre in Walton is under threat. A council report is due to be made public soon that recommends that the theatre is closed in March 2023.

We don’t have long to lodge concerns about this as the Cabinet meets to decide its fate on 12th January 2022.

The Playhouse brings many productions to Walton-on-Thames every year; plays, pantomimes and musical theatre. It is also available to hire by the community and local Dance schools, groups, societies etc.

It has its own car park, dressing rooms and bar as well as a heritage going back to the Silent Movie era with Cecil Hepworth and has a blue plaque commemorating this special place.

Less than a few years ago, it had brand new tiered seating installed at a huge cost.

Local Societies wouldn’t survive if we need to relocate to theatres like Woking or Esher as costs would spiral. This would affect the mental health of many who rely on amateur theatre as an outlet and escape, and the members of our community who are not able to travel into London/Woking/Esher to see performances.

Please join us in our campaign to keep the theatre open. There’s nothing else like this in Walton, with a scene dock, car park, bar and the proscenium arch stage. Here’s a link to the Facebook group, where more information will updated when it is known.”


Your Help Is Needed

More information further down on this page including links to the 2 online petitions (one on Change.Org and one on the Elmbridge Borough Council’s website).

Please write to councillors and your MP too! Petitions have a place – but the impact of lots of voices coming through the letterbox is vital!

Jen Melodie Jones

Petition on Change.Org to Save The Cecil Hepworth Playhouse

Save Elmbridge Hall for Theatre Music and Community events - Cecil Hepworth Playhouse Walton on Thames

Elmbridge Council E-Petition to Save The Cecil Hepworth Playhouse

An E-Petition has been launched on the Elmbridge Council Website. Please sign to save the Playhouse.

We the undersigned petition Elmbridge Borough Council to Reconsider it’s plans to close the Cecil Hepworth Playhouse, redevelop the site and makes many local amateur musical societies/groups and other users of the CHPH homeless with no local affordable community alternative.

The CHPH (“The Playhouse”) was originally constructed by Cecil Hepworth in 1899 and was one of the first film studios in the country.

By 1900 the studio had produced over a 100 films a year. By 1914 Walton had become one of the three major film studios in Britain.

The CPH has been used for local community arts since the 1920’s.

The CPH has been used as a Theatre since 1925.

Nettlefold Studios bought the facility in 1926 and continued making films until 1961. You can watch many of the films produced at the studios on Talking Pictures Channel 81 on freeview.

The CPH is the last remaining building of the original studio complex and housed two captured german U boat generators which were used to run the film studios.

The CPH has been home to many societies/groups over the years producing shows, plays, dance groups, film festivals, youth theatre and more and it is still a valuable community venue on many levels. Social, mental and physical health, the protection and continuation of a culture, the history, learning a career path ie lighting, sound, costumes, scenery and much more.

Amateur Theatre groups and their physical theatres are under threat.

Smaller theatres being closed, redeveloped and which become too expensive for amateur groups and communities to use.

As a community can Walton, Weybridge and Shepperton and all the surrounding areas afford to loose all this?

Petition Started by: Mark Turvill

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