Strode Theatre

Street, Somerset64 seats

Strode Theatre in Somerset is a community-focused venue in the heart of Somerset, run by Strode College, and offering theatre, cinema and arts exhibitions.

In 2015, the theatre management decided to transform a rehearsal room into a multipurpose space, still available for dance classes and evening rehearsals but doubling up as a cinema and small scale performance space. Finished to a high specification with a first class Dolby 7.1 sound system, the cinema will not only screen films, but also stream theatre, opera and ballet live from London and Stratford.

Audience Systems custom designed a retractable seating system to suit this tight space, creating an intimate 64 seat auditorium. The system is finished with Recital chairs, which cleverly fold down onto retractable platforms while maintaining the feel of a traditional auditorium chair. The front row of chairs mimic the Recital’s design, but stack away, allowing the theatre to change the capacity or create spaces for wheelchairs. The chairs are upholstered in luxurious Camira Velvetine Plus fabric.

Liz Leyshon, Strode Theatre Manager said, “We are delighted, it looks wonderful. And best of all it fits like the proverbial glove within the newly built alcove (that was a biggest challenge of the lot). The way the room works as both empty rehearsal room and then within 20 minutes ready for film is worth seeing. The installation crew were brilliant. We couldn’t believe how they completed the installation in just two days.”