Watford Borough Council will invest millions of pounds to ensure Watford Colosseum remains an “iconic venue for future generations”.
The Grade II listed building, which has been the recording home for the soundtracks of The Lord of the Rings, The Sound of Music and Star Wars, among others, is set to undergo a major refurbishment at a cost of around £5 million.
The council took over the running of the Colosseum, which is currently closed due to the pandemic, on Christmas Eve, after previous operator HQ Theatres ended its contract slightly earlier than planned.
Watford mayor Peter Taylor said: “The UK’s theatres and venues are amongst the hardest hit by the pandemic. But if the crisis has taught us anything it’s the importance of culture and the arts to our lives.
“We’re planning significant works which will guarantee that this gem of a building – which is a huge part of the town’s history – will be a huge part of Watford’s future.
“I am looking forward to the Colosseum reopening to the public in the future and, in the meantime, I am delighted it will still be put to excellent use by the BBC Concert Orchestra.”
Artistic director of Watford Palace Theatre, Brigid Larmour, said: “What is very exciting about the council’s new plan for the Colosseum is, in addition to preserving and enhancing its role as a home for our world famous BBC Concert Orchestra, it is also reimagining how the building can be used, offering new opportunities for local professional artists and creative community projects.
“This will build on the strong partnerships that already exist within Watford’s cultural sector, which have become even closer during the Covid crisis.
“In these difficult times, it’s important for us as a town to keep looking ahead to the future, and ensure that this much loved part of our cultural heritage can continue to play a central role in the life of the community.”