Old Wigan theatre 'to be restored to former glory'

The former Royal Court Theatre in Wigan
The former Royal Court Theatre in Wigan

An historic theatre which staged an early performance by Charlie Chaplin is set to be restored to its former glory by arts campaigners.

Bosses at The Old Courts have confirmed that the not-for-profit organisation has secured the former Royal Court Theatre in King Street.

The 3,000 capacity venue, which has traded more recently as The Hub bar, is grade II listed and was a favourite stop-off for music hall entertainers, including a teenage Chaplin, who appeared there in 1903.

A spokesman for The Old Courts said: "The theatre, which is still largely intact, will form part of our organisation's aim to further develop heritage space to support the development of culture and the arts in Wigan.

"We are very excited that the ‘mid range’ theatre space will once again be accessible for the people of Wigan and our visitors and passionately believe that breathing new life into this historic space will be of huge benefit to our town.

"We’ve got a big job on our hands as we intend to restore this beautiful building back to its former glory, however, it’s a job we’re happy to undertake. Wigan is a great place with great people so the sky’s the limit for our town."

The Old Courts has also been seeking trustees for its new charitable venture, Wigan Arts, Culture and Heritage Trust.

Further updates are expected in the near future regarding the theatre, which last hosted live productions around 1930.

Later it became a cinema and was a bingo hall, before part of the building was converted into a bar and club in the late 1990s.