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Bid to turn former theatre into luxury home

PUBLISHED: 15:31 13 February 2020 | UPDATED: 15:39 13 February 2020

The former Eye Theatre building on Broad Street that could be renonvated as a luxury home. Picture: Beech Architects/Mid-Suffolk Council

The former Eye Theatre building on Broad Street that could be renonvated as a luxury home. Picture: Beech Architects/Mid-Suffolk Council

Beech Architects/Mid-Suffolk Council

Plans have been submitted to renovate a redundant former theatre and turn it into an upmarket three-bedroom home.

Inside Eye Theatre shortly before it closed in 2005. Picture: Archant LibraryInside Eye Theatre shortly before it closed in 2005. Picture: Archant Library

Having once staged productions ranging from drama to pantomime, as well as drama classes and film screenings, the stage curtain fell at Eye Theatre for the final time in 2005.

The theatre space was in an assembly room of the former White Lion Hotel on Broad Street in Eye that dates back to 1738 and is Grade II listed.

The courtyard at the  former Eye Theatre building on Broad Street that could be renonvated as a luxury home. Picture: Beech Architects/Mid-Suffolk CouncilThe courtyard at the former Eye Theatre building on Broad Street that could be renonvated as a luxury home. Picture: Beech Architects/Mid-Suffolk Council

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Now proposals have been submitted by Thorndon-based Beech Architects to Mid Suffolk Council to renovate the front first floor to create two bedrooms with an en suite bathroom, while the assembly room and former theatre space would become an open plan kitchen/dining and living room.

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Their planning submission states: "The proposals are modest and respectful of the setting with no works to the exterior proposed except repair and removal of modern fire escape. The main theatre space is respected and left unaltered with all panelling internally left exposed."

Former owner and artistic director Tom Scott established the 85-seat theatre, one of the smallest in the region, in 1991.

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Shortly before its closure in 2005, he told Friends of Eye Theatre in a newsletter: "I have struggled for the last couple of years in the face of, frankly, appalling box office figures to keep the theatre open. But I have finally had to admit defeat."


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