Mayflower Theatre celebrates 90 years since its foundation stone was laid

Mayflower Theatre is celebrating 90 years since the theatre was built and the foundation stone was laid. Dancers from Birmingham Royal Ballet helped the theatre celebrate this momentous occasion whilst in Southampton to perform The Sleeping Beauty.

On 1 February 1928 the Managing Director of Moss Empires, R. H. Gillespie, laid the foundation stone of what was to be called The Empire Theatre. Built on shallow foundations because the land was barely above water level, the building was and still is the largest theatre in the South of England.

2018 marks the theatre’s 90th Anniversary with the theatre having opened on 22 December 1928 with a performance of Winona. The theatre is investing to make major improvements this summer to ensure future generations can continue to experience the very best live performances in the region with a multi-million pound refurbishment. The theatre will close from June – September for the refurbishment which includes: repainting the auditorium, improved access facilities and new seats in the stalls and circle.

Michael Ockwell, Mayflower Theatre Chief Executive said “2018 will be an exceptional year for the theatre as we heavily invest in updating our auditorium. We love live performance and know that our audience do too, and we are delighted to be entering our 90th year continuing to provide the very best theatre experience to people in and around our region.”

Mayflower Theatre is a charitable trust and is running a fundraising campaign to help towards the cost of the multi million pound project, through the purchase of seat plaques, donations and a monthly lottery. 

Photo caption: Lynsey Sutherland and Rachele Pizzillo, Artists of Birmingham Royal Ballet wearing the Lilac Fairy Attendant costumes from The Sleeping Beauty pose next to Mayflower Theatre’s foundation stone.



We will be undertaking a refurbishment of our Grade II listed auditorium in summer 2018. Please consider a donation to our auditorium appeal. Your help is essential in securing our future.



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