Box Office - Opening Times
Our Box Office is open Monday to Saturday 10am to 8pm and only on a Sunday from 6pm if there is a performance.

How to Pay
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

Block Booking Deals
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.

Postal Bookings
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

Access
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

Refreshments
Our licensed bar opens one hour before the show. Coffee, tea, soft drinks and a wide range of confectionery are on sale in the foyer.



Mission

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 History
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

The 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.

In 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.

A 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.

It 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.

After 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.

In 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

Refurbishment was carried out in 1993 with a grant of £72,000 from the Foundation for Sports and the Arts.

The 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.