a redundant and derelict Methodist church (the Bourne Chapel) and school hall,
the property was purchased by a group of local enthusiasts who converted the
existing buildings into a theatre and community centre with the philosophy of
providing the local community with a performing arts centre and focal point
for community events. The centre became “home” for an
ever-increasing number of local arts-related groups.
the population of Long Eaton and the surrounding area had the opportunity to
experience and appreciate the value of performing arts and similar cultural
events in the theatre whilst groups, clubs and other organisations met in the
centre providing a unique facility for the town.
Eaton and District Arts Council, as owners and managers of the Chatsworth
Arts Centre, was formed and registered as a charity. Any profit made on
activities at the Centre over the years prior to the fire through hiring and
staging of operatic and dramatic performances was reinvested in improving the
facilities on and off stage.
Tragically, in November 2003 the auditorium
area of the Duchess Theatre were totally destroyed by fire. The
challenge was to re-build...
The first official
season in the rebuilt theatre opened with 4 sell out performances of 'The
Theatre Story', a specially commissioned production featuring over 60
performers from a wide variety of local societies, culminating in a gala
performance to mark the official opening of The Duchess Theatre on Saturday
4th September 2010.