The Palace Theatre has been at the heart of the community in Newark for over 100 years. This summer, they’re marking that special centenary with a fascinating exhibition, Centre Stage: 100 Years of the Palace Theatre.
Opening the curtains on ten decades of history, this exhibition on the Palace stage will star stories and memories of this local much-loved landmark alongside a carefully curated selection of fascinating photographs and exhibits.
Visitors will be able to find out what a theatre visit was like when the Palace first opened in 1920 as well as discovering the many stars who’ve graced its stage, its varied past as a cinema, bingo hall, World War II lookout point and more, and about its remarkable founder Emily Blagg.
Theatre Manager Carys Coulton-Jones said: “We’re so excited to share the Palace’s story with the people who’ve been such an important part of it over the years, the local community. This exhibition is as much a celebration of this amazing building as it is the people who have supported it through its ten decades and I hope that visitors will be able to look back fondly on their many cherished memories of trips to the theatre as they explore.”
The event will also see the unveiling of the Patchwork Palace hangings, the culmination of work throughout the lockdowns of the past 15 months which saw people from the local area, and further afield, send in patches they had stitched portraying their fond memories of the theatre. These have now been assembled and will be on display for exhibition visitors to admire.
Councillor David Lloyd, Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “The Palace holds such a special place within Newark’s past and present. It’s unfortunate that its centenary fell in 2020 but I’m delighted that celebrations are continuing with this exciting exhibition. I know I will be looking back on my own experiences of the fantastic shows and pantomimes I’ve enjoyed there as well as looking ahead to many more still to come.”
The exhibition has been supported by a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and will launch on Wednesday 28th July, running from Wednesday to Saturday, 10am to 3pm, until Saturday 7th August. It will be completely free to attend with donations gratefully received to the Theatre’s Our Past, Your Future Fund, supporting local young people who aspire to careers in the arts. Entry slots can be secured by booking online at www.palacenewark.com but visitors are welcome to come along without booking.