My attention has been drawn to a planning application which has been submitted for the conversion of this building into a multiplex cinema and retail unit.
This in an area which already has two other cinema complexes. Although it is stated it could be converted back into a theatre, this would not be possible as the stage and fly tower would have been removed and, most important, scenery unloading areas blocked.
Given this is a building which lends itself not only to a conventional proscenium arch theatre capable of housing large scale musicals, opera and ballet but also, my own preference, a theatre in the round, I must add my strong support to the campaign to keep the Hippodrome for the use it was intended.
As it could also include a home for first class community arts activities, it is apparent that a revitalised Hippodrome would once more be a major addition to the cultural life of Brighton.
Living in a town myself which has already seen the demise of two fine theatres due to the ‘reasonable’ but short-sighted thinking of the local council, I hope the same will not be said of Brighton and Hove City Council.
Sir Alan Ayckbourn CBE