Regal Entertainments becomes owner of St Helens Theatre Royal
The team which runs St Helens Theatre Royal has assumed overall ownership of the building.
Regal Entertainments, which has operated the Corporation Street landmark for more than 20 years, has taken over the freehold from the Theatre Royal Charitable Trust for an undisclosed sum.
Mother and daughter team Jane Joseph (creative director) and Chantelle Nolan – director and theatre general manager – have held the tenancy since 1999, working in partnership with the Charitable Trust.
Creative Director Jane Joseph said: “St Helens Theatre Royal is a very special place for the Regal Entertainments team, myself, Chantelle, and our families. It’s a hub of colour, singing, laughter and life and it holds a very dear place in our hearts.
“We’ve successfully steered the theatre on a path of adventure and rediscovery for the past 22 years and we’re extremely excited for this new chapter.”
Above: St Helens Theatre Royal auditorium. Top: Chantelle Nolan and Jane Joseph
Nick Wilding, chairman of the Theatre Royal Charitable Trust, added: “Regal Entertainments has efficiently run the theatre for more than 20 years. Jane and Chantelle understand what audiences want and provide an excellent programme of entertainment, so we’re delighted with the news.
“We’re also keen to reassure everybody that the charity will continue, and it’s a wonderful opportunity for us to focus on fulfilling some of our other charitable aims and objectives.
“The Trust is confident that the wonderful Victorian St Helens Theatre Royal, a Frank Matcham theatre and ‘a precious old lady in the town’, is very much in safe hands.”
St Helens Theatre Royal was designed by theatre architect Frank Matcham and opened its doors in 1901, replacing the Theatre Royal and Opera House which had stood on the same site until it was destroyed by fire in 1899.
The Edwardian Matcham building was gutted in 1964 and extensively remodelled and modernised, with the addition of a glass façade.