White Rock TheatreWhite Rock Theatre, White Rock, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 1JX
The White Rock Theatre, located on the Hastings shoreline, is an ideal venue for theatre and concert. It hosts an array of programmes and includes one-night concerts, drama, musicals, and a pantomime every year. The Hastings Borough Council owns this mid-scale receiving house, situated in East Sussex on England’s south coast.
What is the White Rock Theatre?
The auditorium consists of The Stalls and The Circle, spread across two levels. It offers a total capacity of 1082 to 1620 seats for seated or standing events. The Stalls feature both raked and flat seating arrangements. Following the Battle of Hastings, the venue’s original seating capacity was 1066. However, in early 2019, the layout and capacity increased to make the theatre more flexible. The stage is also big, being 47-foot wide and 31.6-foot deep.
The History of the Theatre
Initially, there existed the East Sussex Hospital, which the White Rock Pavilion replaced. Edward, Prince of Wales, opened the Pavilion in April 1927, which was constructed for the Hastings Municipal Orchestra. Later, in 1939, it underwent extensive modifications to provide an upgrade for the acoustics and electronics along with the seats, which were foldable like in cinemas. In 1985, the venue got its new name, White Rock Theatre.
The Hastings Borough Council operated the theatre from the beginning. With the passing years, the theatre stopped making a profit, and they chose to shut it down. After the announcement, the locals were clearly against the Council’s decision, and they showed their support to White Rock Theatre by forming groups and rallying around the theatre. Maybe it was the people’s faith or the building’s luck, a prominent American company called Clear Channel Entertainment took over its management in May 2002. In December 2005, the company separated from the main Clear Channel organisation to form Live Nation. HQ Theatres partnered with Hastings Borough Council and acquired the venue’s operations.
Shows and Functions at the White Rock
The venue offers a variety of spaces and meets a range of requirements. From meetings, conferences, and parties to workshops and rehearsals, it provides all kinds of services. As well as the Stalls Bar and the Circle bar, the White Rock Theatre also has a Café, the Campbell Room, and the Sussex Halls. They both primarily serve as spaces for private events, corporate receptions, and community gatherings. The Sussex Hall includes a versatile and multi-functional space equipped with lighting and sound as well as a dance floor, a large projection area and a fully licensed bar. It can accommodate 300 standing and 200 seated people, while the Campbell Room offers another 30 seated and 30 standing space.
Throughout its journey, the theatre has seen world-class entertainment. International acts and artists like Motörhead, Hot Chocolate, Greg Davies, Tim Vine, Derren Brown, Jools Holland, as well as Geri Halliwell, Al Murray and Eartha Kitt have performed here.