Worthing’s Connaught Studio receives a seating upgrade next month and as the old seats are removed this Monday, members of the public are invited to take home their own piece of cinematic history in exchange for a donation to Worthing Mayor’s Charities.
A new fixed-tiered and removable seating system will be in place by February 20 and in order for work to begin on the new seating installation, all old seats must be removed on Monday January 30. Members of the public and local community groups who would like to preserve a piece of Worthing’s theatrical history may take ownership of as many seats as they wish between 12pm and 5pm on Monday in exchange for a donation to the Mayor’s chosen charities which are Worthing Samaritans, Coastal West Sussex MIND and St Barnabas House Hospice.
The seats have been made available to the public as the need for reupholstering and spare parts for the majority of seats makes them unsuitable for another venue or bulk-purchase. The seats are not stand alone and therefore making them auction-ready or sale-ready would require a great amount of time and further investment. Potential new owners of the seats should therefore be mindful that the seats are taken as-seen and will need some care and upcycling expertise in order for them to be reused.
Neither the number of seats available nor the condition upon removal can be guaranteed and so anyone wishing to make a donation in exchange for a seat that is making a special journey to the Connaught Studio should email email@example.com in advance to request that seats be put aside. This will be on a first-come-first-served basis and does not automatically secure a seat.
Any seats which cannot be upcycled will be recycled appropriately and the metal used for scrap where possible.
The new seating installation, costing £80,000, has been funded through the proceeds from the theatres’ ticket levy and a Worthing Borough Council investment scheme which enables repayment over a ten-year period.
This will create a superior customer experience, with improved sight-lines from every angle and the ability to diversify use of the space – hosting everything from seated-standing to fully seated events.
The seating will be vibrantly coloured and the new layout created by the fixed tier rake will enable the installation of a new bar at the back of the auditorium, planned for phase two in 2017/2018. As the old seating was affixed directly into the floor, new flooring is also being installed.
Councillor Dr Heather Mercer, Executive Member for Customer Services, says: “This is a brilliant opportunity to own a piece of theatrical history while simultaneously supporting the excellent work of the Mayor’s Charities. These seats may need a little care and rejuvenation but they will make an unusual and fascinating addition to any home, garden or community space with the donations making a difference to the lives of many in the town.”