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RAF Brampton Little Theatre


For most of its existence, the theatre in Brampton Park has had limited publicity, as it was built on the RAF base. It started life in the early 1950s as the Astra Cinema, the social hub for servicemen and civilians living on the base. In January 1962 it was converted into a theatre, whichb was used by the Brampton Park Theatre Company and Brampton Choral Society. The building is simple and utilitarian, typical of the military genre - a single storey in brick with flat roof, a small square canopy over the entrance to the foyer and box office, and alternative entrance into the bright, spacious bar and restaurant areas. The auditorium is intimate, seating 99 in a gently raked central block. The end stage is deep but has limited room for flying, so extra lighting hangs on bars over the first part of the stalls seating. Backstage facilities are equally simple with space at a premium, yet still housing costumes, scenery and dressing room space. While the building itself may lack architectural merit, it is acknowledged by performers and audiences alike as an atmospheric theatre space. Its reputation is confirmed through many years of sell-out productions. In 2010 it was announced that RAF Brampton would be decommissioned, and the theatre building closed in 2013. Brampton Arts Centre Ltd (BAC) sought to acquire the theatre and refurbish it as an Arts Centre with the much-loved theatre at its heart. In March 2014 local developers Campbell Buchanan acquired the site and in July 2014 the council approved demolition of the Little Theatre. Plans for the future development of the site include a replacement community and cultural building.

Built / Converted
Dates of use
  • 1962 - 2013: Community theatre and cinema.
Current state
Current use
Dark (development site)
Wilson Way, Brampton, Cambridgeshire, PE28 2EA, England
Further details
Other names
Brampton Park Theatre , Astra Cinema
  • 1950 - 1959 Design/Construction: as the RAF base's Astra Cinema
  • 1955 - 2014 Owner/Management: Ministry of Defence
  • 1962 Design/Construction: converted to theatre
  • 1962 - 2013 Use: Community theatre and cinema.
  • 2014 Owner/Management: Campbell Buchanan, owner
  • Capacity
  • Listing
    Not listed
Stage type
Building dimensions: -
Stage dimensions: -
Proscenium width: -
Height to grid: -
Inside proscenium: -
Orchestra pit: -