Worthing Assembly Hall
The Assembly Hall was given to Worthing by way of covenant in 1934 by Alderman James Gurney Denton who was mayor of Worthing.
It is an adjunct to the main town hall and situated to the rear. It derives its style from the Scandinavian Modernist Movement with Art Deco overtones. It is two storeys and constructed in red brick with a pitched roof. The cornice is detailed with bricks set endwise, the central ones in a dentil arrangement. The front façade is detailed with three Art Deco style stone masks over sea waves above the 1st floor pivoting casement windows. The entrance has three bronze doors divided by panels of stone rustication and wave patterned cornice with the letter W (for Worthing). There is also a projecting canopy above six steps to the street flanked by enormous stone urns on square plinths.
Internally, the Assembly Hall is a flat-floored concert hall with a proscenium-arched raised stage with dressing room accommodation and rear balcony. It is a multi-purpose hall with main entrance foyer, adjoining access from the town hall and a break-out secondary space with café and bar called the Richmond Rooms. Foyer has Art Deco fittings and pay box. Main Hall has Art Deco style reliefs with marine theme star-shaped light fittings. The proscenium arch is flanked by relief sea horses. Walls and ceiling are of plain plaster with streamlined mahogany panelling at dado level. Coffered glazing to central section of ceiling.
The Assembly Hall hosts concerts, theatre, dancing, table sales and wrestling. It is currently the home of Worthing Symphony Orchestra, the only professional orchestra in West Sussex, who present a classical season each year. The Worthing Philharmonic Orchestra rehearse at the venue each week and the Alassio Concert Orchestra performs throughout the year. In addition, it houses the largest Wurlitzer organ in Europe which has been played during regular concerts by leading organists.
The organ was installed in 1981 after an extensive restoration programme. There is also a lift beneath the stage which raises the resident Wurlitzer organ into the view of the audience. In addition to the organ, two grand pianos can be housed beneath the stage at one time.
The Assembly Hall, although very functional, is looking tired and in need of capital investment and refurbishment if it is to continue in as a sustainable operation. Worthing Council has stated it needs to significantly reduce its revenue support to the Assembly Hall and is currently exploring options for all its theatres.
- 1934 : continuing (as concert multi-function hall).
- 1934 Design/Construction: Town Hall with Assembly Hall behind.C Cowles Voysey- Architect
- 1934 Use: continuing (as concert multi-function hall).
- CapacityCurrentDescription930Comment+ 10 wheelchair spaces; 2014
- ListingIICommentListing is for the Town Hall including Assembly Hall and Worthing Room.