154 YEARS OF RICH HISTORY
On Thursday 26th December 1867 -154 years ago- residents of Guiseley came out in their hundreds to witness the formal opening of Guiseley Town Hall, known to many now as our home, Guiseley Theatre.
The Town Hall was paid for by Sir Matthew William Thompson, a wealthy Guiseley
resident, benefactor, MP and Director of the Midland Railway Company. He
achieved many great things such as becoming Mayor of Bradford, and being a
leading advocate in the construction of the infamous Forth Bridge. Thompson gave
the grand sum of £2548 toward the £2921 total needed. The remainder was paid for
by Subscriptions, as little as one shilling, from Guiseley residents. Sir Matthew
William Thompson gave the deeds for the building to the town council stating that
it was "for the use of the inhabitants of Guiseley forever".
Since then, the Theatre has seen many different faces; from Town Hall, to Cinema, and Hospital to Fire Station, before being taken over by Guiseley Amateur Operatic Society in 1985, and renamed 'Guiseley Theatre'.
2019 saw the launch of a new Community Interest Company - Guiseley Theatre Community Interest Company - who have taken over the running of the building and have ambitious plans to bring the Theatre into the 21st century. Looking forward, Guiseley Theatre is now on the brink of a new chapter in its life as redevelopment plans are being put together to make Guiseley Theatre a usable and accessible building to continue to serve its community for another 150 years.
We are proud to run Guiseley Theatre on a primarily Voluntary basis. This means the team that keeps the building alive are passionate about the place, its heritage and its community.
The main group behind the running of Guiseley Theatre CIC are the Theatre Board, made up of 6 members who are key community players, have long-standing history with the building or are arts professionals.
There is also a wider circle of regular volunteers who man the bar, steward events and help with maintenance of the building.
If you would like to offer your services to Guiseley Theatre as a volunteer, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Guiseley Theatre's Associated Organisations are in permanent residence within our building and have a long-standing relationship with our community, four walls and Board of Director's.
Codswallop CIC is a Community Interest Company in residence in our annexe.
Codswallop are a community arts company who work throughout Guiseley, Yorkshire and the North to bring a varied arts programme to the community. They also run events, festivals and classes from the Theatre.
Guiseley Theatrical Productions or GTP (formerly Guiseley Amateur Operatic Society) have been a massive part of Guiseley Theatre's history after first forming and performing in 1923.
The current managing committee of the Theatre was originally born out of the GAOS organisation, and they remain very much a part of the life of the Theatre. GTP use the theatre to rehearse and perform 2 shows annually.