The Theatres Trust

Final curtain falls on 'little theatre' in Corby

5th November 2009

Bulldozers have moved in to demolish an historic Corby theatre. Full demolition of the Willows Arts Centre began yesterday, with the familiar face of the building in George Street ripped open. It follows clearance of the inside of the building, which has taken place over the past few weeks.The building, which has been Corby’s main theatre for the past 40 years, is shutting to make way for the redevelopment of the town centre.

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New Theatre Royal Portsmouth - let's make it great

4th November 2009

Caroline Sharman Director of the New Theatre Royal Portsmouth, announced ambitious new plans to restore the theatre to its former glory and to incorporate exciting new facilities in collaboration with the University of Portsmouth.

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Key Brand Entertainment files lawsuit in bid to block Live Nation sale

4th November 2009

Key Brand Entertainment – the failed bidder in the recent sale of Live Nation’s UK theatres – has filed a lawsuit in the US, attempting to block the sale of the venues to the Ambassador Theatre Group. In the lawsuit, Key Brand, which bought Live Nation’s US theatres in 2008, claims that Live Nation has violated a previous agreement with the company by selling its British venues to a rival.

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Playhouse Edinburgh top theatre takes centre stage with £150m deal

4th November 2009

One of Scotland’s best-known performing arts venues has been taken over as part of a huge shake-up of the theatre scene in Britain. The Edinburgh Playhouse, which regularly hosts big-name Scottish premieres of West End productions, has become part of the Ambassador Theatre Group. The 80-year-old Playhouse, which started life as a cinema, had been owned by the American entertainment giant Live Nation. However, it yesterday completed the sale of its 17 theatres across the UK to ATG, which has now become the country’s biggest theatre operator, with 39 venues worth about £150 million.

Source: Scotsman

Birmingham's Alexandra Theatre sold to ATG in £90m deal

4th November 2009

The Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham is in new hands after its owner was taken over in a £90 million deal. The 108-year-old venue has been bought by The Ambassador Theatre Group, after a deal was struck with former owner Live Nation for 16 venues, including the Lyceum and Apollo Victoria theatres in the West End. Howard Panter, ATG’s joint chief executive and creative director, said specific proposals for the newly-acquired theatres were still being worked on, but confirmed there were no plans to cut any jobs at The Alex. He said he had a vision of The Alex as “a theatre of national stature but with local sensitivity”.

Source: Birmingham Post

£90m acquisition takes Ambassador Theatre Group to the next stage

4th November 2009

Seventeen years ago a pair of theatre obsessives went into business together to build a theatre in Woking. Yesterday Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire, as husband and wife, celebrated the £90 million acquisition that makes their company the largest British theatre operator since the variety era, dwarfing Lord Lloyd-Webber and Sir Cameron Mackintosh’s rival empires.

Source: The Times Online

Bristol Hippodrome sold in £90m deal

4th November 2009

Bristol’s Hippodrome theatre has been sold as part of a £90-million deal. The historic 2,000-seat venue is one of 16 UK theatres sold by Live Nation to the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG). Hippodrome general manager Gary Roden said: “It is really positive news as the new owners are one of the biggest operators in the country. “We are expecting a total of 480,000 admissions in 2009, compared to 474,000 in 2008 which is fantastic in this current climate.”

Source: South West Business

Liverpool Empire theatre sold as part of £90 million deal

3rd November 2009

LIVERPOOL’S Empire theatre has been sold as part of a £90 million nationwide deal. The Lime Street landmark is one of 16 theatres owned by organisation Live Nation which have been sold to the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG). Southport Theatre is also among the 16, alongside major venues including the Manchester Opera House and Palace Theatre, Sunderland Empire, Edinburgh Playhouse and the Apollo Victoria Theatre in London. It is understood there will be no changes to staff at the Empire or for audiences attending the theatre.

Source: Liverpool Echo

Manchester's Palace Theatre and Opera House sold to Ambassador group

3rd November 2009

Two of Manchester’s best-loved theatres have been bought out by the Ambassador Theatre Group as part of a deal worth £90m. The Palace Theatre and The Opera House were part of the Live Nation Theatre group, which has now been sold to London-based ATG. The portfolio of 16 theatres also includes the Liverpool Empire and Southport Theatre and the deal makes ATG Britain’s largest theatre operator, with 37 venues and 49,000 seats.

Source: Manchester Evening News

Ambassador Group buys up Live Nation's British theatres

3rd November 2009

Ownership of British theatre was given its biggest shake up in years today when the Ambassador Theatre Group completed the purchase of Live Nation’s British theatres for £90m. The deal makes ATG, created 17 years ago by husband-and-wife team Howard Panter and Rosemary Squire, one of the UK’s biggest theatre operators. The company now adds two famous theatres to its portfolio in London’s West End: the Apollo Victoria, an art deco gem that is home to the musical Wicked, and the Lyceum, which plays host to Disney’s The Lion King, now in its tenth year.

Source: The Guardian

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Auditorium from performance space towards seating, Junction, Goole, July 2010.

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