Skip to main content

Peterborough New Theatre


Roland Satchwell’s plans were approved for the Odeon in 1935. Plans were later revised by Harry Weedon’s office which took credit for the completed design. The original, wide faience-facade was of three bays, three centre with four engaged columns framing the entrance which was approached by steps. Rounded canopy above carrying two vertical fin decorations to attic level with a small decorative entablature between. The letters ODEON appeared, unusually, above the canopy. At first floor level, windows with mouldings. The entrance foyer ceiling had circular decorations and stairs at either side led to balcony level. The auditorium walls and ceiling had bold, undulating curves and an ante-proscenium of horizontal banding, all lit by architectural lighting, and by pendant lights from the ceiling. The Odeon was altered in 1960; the faience was removed and the external walls rendered and all exterior decoration removed. The circle lounge was subdivided and partly utilised for offices. In 1973 two screens were inserted in the rear stalls area, the main screen comprising the stage, proscenium and balcony. The Odeon closed in 1991 when a new multiplex opened. It was then acquired by millionaire Peter Boizot, together with an adjoining site, and reopened in 1996 as part of Cinema 100. Under the architectural management of Tim Foster Architects, the Odeon was redeveloped and reopened in 2001 as the Broadway Theatre, one of the largest venues in the region offering national touring plays, music, comedy and films. The rear wall was pushed back to improve the stage facilities, and an apron stage with square central lift added to the stage. The remarkable cantilevered glass extension to the front of the building resulted in a central fully glazed bay above the entrance, through which columns could be seen extending to the circle foyer ceiling. The exterior was reclad in white glass mosaic with blue trimmings. The entrance foyer was enlarged by taking in part of the rear stalls. A new house carpet and tabs were designed, inspired by the original foyer floor, and the theatre was reseated and new lighting introduced. The building changed hands in 2004 and closed after a major fire in 2009. Briefly reopened and operated by StageLive in 2011, the theatre remains closed despite concerts of choral music and two highly successful 2013 and 2015 winter seasons. An application for planning permission for redevelopment for residential use is being prepared for submission in 2016. However, in July 2017 the theatre's lease was taken over by the Dawe Charitable Trust, which relaunched the theatre as a live performance venue (predominantly concerts and comedy) from September 2017, through a management agreement with Performance Art Ventures CIC. Furthermore, during the decision period the owner of The Broadway announced that the theatre was to be leased to the Dawe Charitable Trust which, through a management agreement with Performance Art Ventures CIC, trading as The Broadway (Peterborough), was to reopen the building as a theatre. The building reopened its doors on 2 September 2017, the 80th anniversary of the building, operating a varied programme of entertainment. In August 2018 Performance Art Ventures CIC ceased trading – a blow for a theatre that was beginning to re-establish itself with the local community. The leaseholder Dawe Charitable Trust stepped in to reopen the theatre, renaming it The Peterborough Theatre. In March 2019 Selladoor Worldwide announced it would be taking on the management of the theatre. It plans to undertake work to improve the auditorium and front of house. The theatre will reopen from September 2019 as the Peterborough New Theatre.

Built / Converted
Dates of use
Current state
Current use
Dark (Concerts, film, comedy)
Broadway, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE1 1RT, England
Further details
Other names
Broadway Theatre , Odeon , The Peterborough Theatre
  • 1935 Design/Construction:
    Harry Weedon
    - Architect
  • 1937 - 1991 Owner/Management: Odeon
  • 1960 Alteration: exterior altered
    - Architect
  • 1973 Alteration: tripled
    - Architect
  • 1996 Owner/Management: Peter Boizot
  • 2001 Alteration: detripled, modernised and reorganised
    Tim Foster
    - Architect
  • 2004 Owner/Management: Prima Investments, owner
  • 2011 - 2011 Owner/Management: StageLive (Peterborough) Ltd, lessee
  • 2017 Owner/Management: Dawe Charitable Trust, lessees, continuing
  • 2017 - 2018 Owner/Management: Performance Art Ventures CIC trading as The Broadway (Peterborough), management
  • 2018 - 2019 Owner/Management: Dawe Charitable Trust, interim operator to 
  • Listing
    Not listed
Stage type
(now) proscenium with apron
Building dimensions: -
Stage dimensions: -
Proscenium width: -
Height to grid: -
Inside proscenium: -
Orchestra pit: -