Office - Opening
Our Box Office is open Monday to Saturday 10am to 8pm and only
on a Sunday from 6pm if there is a performance.
We take Switch cards, Connect, Delta and all major credit cards.
Concessions are available to unwaged adults and Stage Pass holders.
Keycard holders receive selected discounts. Please note that for
certain events concessions may be restricted
Get 1 free ticket for every 10 purchased unless otherwise stated.
Unwanted tickets may be exchanged at a 50p charge per ticket, however
we are not able to offer refunds.
All postal bookings should be accompanied by a cheque payable
to Whitley Bay Playhouse and an SAE to Whitley Bay Playhouse,
Marine Avenue, Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear, NE26 1LZ
There are six seats for wheelchair users in the auditorium with adjacent companion
seats. A BCL Induction Loop System is installed in the auditorium - please
ensure your batteries are brand new. Some films will be shown with soft subtltles and audio description. There are a limited number of headsets so please book in advance. A £10 deposit will be required and will be returned when the headset is submitted to the Box Office after the film. Please contact the box office for further information.
If you require a large print format of our brochure, please contact the box office on 0191 252 3505
Our licensed bar opens one hour before the show. Coffee, tea,
soft drinks and a wide range of confectionery are on sale in
The Whitley Bay Playhouse is a not for profit, receiving theatre
company and a registered charity. The main objective of the Playhouse is to present a quality
mixed programme of professional and amateur productions to serve
the people from North Tyneside and other parts of the Northern
Region and to actively take theatre into the local community
with the Theatre in the Community programme utilising sites
in North Shields, Wallsend, Killingworth and Percy Main making
theatre more accessible to all sectors of the community.
Whitley Bay Playhouse
What is now known as the Playhouse was first named The Kursaal
and opened on March 24th 1913. The building consisted of a barrel
vaulted auditorium, flanked on all four corners by French Renaissance
towers which produced a striking and imposing effect
theatre had a successful life throughout the Twenties and Thirties.
Films first began to be shown in the Twenties, but as they became
more frequent it was apparent that the theatre was not very
well suited to function as a cinema.
1931 the building was reconstructed to provide new and improved
facilities for the patrons and was renamed The Playhouse. The
stage was moved to the opposite end of the building and the
interior reconstructed to a new and striking Art Deco design.
Throughout the early Thirties live professional and amateur
shows continued to dominate the scene until just before WWII
when films became paramount for many families and courting couples.
Gradually films took over as the main entertainment and the
name was changed to the Essoldo in early 1950.
survey in 1974 showed that there was a large potential demand for
a theatre to hire among local groups
in addition to those who regularly hired the Priory, a local amateur
theatre which had to be closed due to fire risk. A group of North
Tyneside counsellors and officers representing the arts, education
and recreation services worked on a project to allow local groups
to hire the Essoldo in replacement of their Priory building.
was agreed that the cinema amenity in the centre of the town
had to be preserved and that the building should not only become
a civic home for the performing arts in North Tyneside but also
aim to attract to the area trade and professional conferences,
together with the business they would bring.
being purchased by the Council and passed into public ownership
an independent trust was formed in 1976 with the object of promoting
and encouraging the arts and recreation in the area, the name
was changed back to The Playhouse.
1991 the Trust reviewed its programming policy and decided to
reestablish the Playhouse as a major venue for middle scale
touring theatre and dance balanced with the continued important
use of the theatre by the users from the local area and its
functions as a large screen cinema showing major second run
and specialist films
was carried out in 1993 with a grant of £72,000 from the
Foundation for Sports and the Arts.
Whitley Bay Playhouse is the only theatre of its size within a forty
mile radius and the only theatre on the coast between Sunderland
and Berwick, a distance of 70 miles.