Pendle theatre expands into next door pub

Hipporome's chairmen Keith Walton and Kevin Mason outside the pub they have taken over. (1)
Hipporome's chairmen Keith Walton and Kevin Mason outside the pub they have taken over. (1)

A highly popular Pendle theatre is now going to get much bigger – thanks to the fact that its team has bought the pub next door!

The Pendle Hippodrome Theatre in New Market Street, Colne, has managed to buy the large Derby Arms Hotel attached next to it and will use it to create even more facilities for its audiences and casts.

The theatre hosts lots of events including productions it organises through its Pendle Hippodrome Theatre Company and Pendle Hippodrome Youth Theatre. Many other groups stage there, and it features films, concerts and song and dance festivals, too.

The theatre celebrated its 100th birthday last September but the Derby Arms was there earlier. It opened in 1887. In its more recent life, the Derby has provided live entertainment and a games area as well as offering drinks.

Mr Kevin Mason, who is chairman of Pendle Hippodrome Theatre Ltd which runs the theatre, confirmed: “We have definitely bought the hotel and paid for it. It is a big building with three levels plus a cellar below.

“We have not yet made final plans on what we are going to do with it but have come up with a lot of ideas. It will give us street-level access and extra space for disabled toilet facilities.

“It will be a great facility for audiences – it can be very cramped here in the theatre at the moment when lots of people are here.”

So they are looking at ways of making the theatre an even better facility for visitors and will talk about plans a lot soon.

And Mr Mason said: “It was there before the theatre was built 100 years ago. I am very excited at having it to build our future.

“It requires a lot of work and it might take more than a year to get it sorted.”

So the theatre will expand soon and provide even better accommodation for its visitors. And each year it hosts our popular annual Leader Times Stage Awards, sponsored by Pendle businessman Mr Howard Rigg.