DNTA NEWS!

October 2016 - Latest Spotlight released

February 2015 - Spotlight Brochure Release

January 2014 - SADLY, NO NEW COMMUNITY THEATRE

Last April we mentioned the exciting possibility of a new community theatre: a likely building had come onto the market.

Sadly, it proved to have too many problems for us to proceed. The building was the old Queen’s Hall on London Road. This is really two buildings side by side: at the side nearest Midland Road was the old chapel which, with a bit of modification, would have made an ideal theatre with about 330 seats. However, the other building was a rabbit warren of small and large rooms including a large Concert Hall and a rehearsal room plus a separate suite of offices. The vendors did not wish to separate the two and the combined cost of them both put it beyond our reach. But there was another major drawback: lack of local parking. We spoke to the developers who are building on the Castle Ward Urban Village and Nightingale Quarter (former Derbyshire Royal Infirmary) sites and found that they were not providing any suitable public car parks in their schemes. It was concluded that the Queen's Hall would not be a suitable candidate for a new community theatre. In fact the building has now been sold.



April 2013 – A POSSIBLE NEW COMMUNITY THEATRE

Over the past years a number of buildings have been researched as a possible Community Theatre. In our early days the Hippodrome was a possibility but the damage to the building inflicted by the current owner ruled this out for us. More recent searches yielded nothing suitable until last month.

The Executive Committee is now investigating a possible building and it is hoped to make a statement on this in the near future!



October 2012 - New Chairman elected at AGM

At the AGM on 1st October, Tony Jaggers stood down as Chair of Derby New Theatre Association after many years sterling service. Steve Dunning was elected Chair for 2012/13. Steve is an individual member of DNTA and is also a member of Derby Shakespeare Theatre Company and Central Operatic Society. He is also a former Chair of Derby Opera Company. In a press release, Steve said;

"Tony has done a fantastic job as Chair and he will be a tough act to follow. There are many challenges facing amateur and professional theatre in Derby and I will focus my attention on trying to improve the production facilities and performance spaces available to amateur theatre groups in the city. I will do my best to promote the wealth of talent that exists in amdram groups so that Derby theatregoers can continue to enjoy top quality musical and drama productions."


The Hippodrome Theatre
When the DNTA was first formed, the possibility of restoring the Hippodrome Theatre was investigated. At that time the building was being run as a Bingo Hall and the interior features were virtually intact. At first the owners appeared keen to let us have the building but that came to an abrupt halt with the announcement of closure of the Bingo operation in 2007 and the sale of the building to a London based developer. The latter was keen to demolish the building but was denied permission. In 2008, when carrying out some repairs on the roof, he caused the whole of the auditorium roof to collapse and, apparently for safety reasons, part of the exterior walls and much of the stage house were demolished.

An application in 2010 to convert the building to a multi-storey car park was rejected and the developer taken to court for damaging a listed building. Since then he has been barred from doing any further work and the building was made safe by the City Council. At that point it was clear that any work to restore the building was beyond the capabilities of the DNTA but, thankfully, the Derby Hippodrome Restoration Trust was formed and now continues the work to restore it as a theatre.

For all the latest news on Derby Hippodrome please refer to the Derby Hippodrome Restoration Trust page at
www.derbyhippodrome.co.uk