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Firms: Burrell, Foley & Fischer
Located in Worcester town centre at the corner of Angel Place and Angel Street. The Scala Theatre was opened as a cinema on 27th November 1922 with “Theodora”. Seating was provided in stalls and circle levels.
Although independently operated, it was a first-run cinema in the town and was the first cinema in Worcester to have CinemaScope installed, opening on 22nd March 1954 with “The Robe”. The CinemaScope screen was installed forward of the original proscenium.
The Scala Theatre was closed on 2nd June 1973 with “Bequest to a Nation”. The building was gutted internally and became the Worcester Leisure Centre. Since at least 2009, the building has been in use as Shipleys Amusement Arcade.
In November 2021 it was announced that the Scala Theatre would be renovated and become the new home of the Swan Theatre. In April 2022, Worcester City Council appointed architects Burrell Foley & Fischer to lead the design of the Scala Theatre, which will operate as a cultural hub and offer theatrical, musical and cinema facilities. Specialist theatre consultants Theatreplan have been appointed to work on renovation. On 10th October 2022 work began stripping back the former foyer and removing the bingo and casino equipment. The former back-stage entrance door, facing the CrownGate Shopping Centre, has been repainted black and some windows have been repaired and restored.
In October 2023, an independent consultation between Worcester City Council and members of the city’s arts and creative communities was held to discuss the former Scala Theatre. Renovation of the Scala Theatre was halted after costs significantly increased. Worcester City Council are now trying to secure grants of around £30,000 for regeneration of the Northern Quarter of the City Centre
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