Save The Cecil Hepworth Playhouse

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Save The Cecil Hepworth Playhouse

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Mark Turvill started this petition

Save The Cecil Hepworth Playhouse (CHPH) in Walton- on-Thames which Elmbridge Council are proposing to close on 31st March 2023 and demolish the existing historic building and make many local amateur musical societies/groups and other users of the CHPH  homeless with no local affordable community alternative.

The CHPH ("The Playhouse") was originally constructed by Cecil Hepworth in 1899 and was one of the first film studios in the country.  By 1900 the studio had produced  over a 100 films a year. By 1914 Walton had become one of the three major film studios in Britain. 
The CHPH has been used for local community arts since the 1920's. 
The CHPH has been used as a Theatre since 1925.
Nettlefold Studios  bought the facility in 1926 and continued making films until 1961. You can watch many of the films produced   at the studios on Talking Pictures Channel 81 on Freeview. 
The CPH is the last remaining building of the original studio complex and housed two captured German U boat generators which were used to run the film studios.

The CHPH has been home to many societies/groups over the years producing shows, plays, dance groups, film festivals, youth theatre and more and it is still a  valuable community venue on many levels. Social, mental and physical health, the protection and continuation of a culture, the history, learning a career path ie lighting, sound, costumes, scenery and much more.
Amateur Theatre groups and their physical  theatres are under threat. Smaller theatres being closed,  redeveloped and which become too expensive for amateur groups and communities to use.
As a community can Walton, Weybridge and Shepperton and all the surrounding areas afford to loose all this?

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