White Rock Pavilion

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White Rock Pavilion


Opened by the Prince Of Wales in 1927, the 1066 seat White Rock Pavilion was constructed on the site of the former General Infirmary.

Refurbishments[edit]

The theatre underwent a major overhaul in 1939, which included a graduated paint colour scheme whereby the gold paintwork gradually lightened as it neared the ceiling becoming a light fawn colour. The seating in the stalls was upgraded to the latest available 'silent' folding cinema seats upholstered in Royal Blue. On the first-floor, the seating that had previously been at the extreme edges of the circle with reduced visibility was moved to a position with a better view of the stage. Front-of-house work had been carried out by Roffé Decorations of London. The overhaul continued on-stage and at the back-of-house where local building firm Llewellyn's had lowered the floor by six inches in front of the stage to accommodate an orchestra pit, six dressing-rooms were formed with the latest specification lighting and ventilation and the stage-front had been extended to form a straight edge, giving 300 square feet of extra performance space, lowered by six inches. A new, electrical, fly-system had been installed permitting set-changes to take place within a few seconds at the push of a button. In addition to all of these changes, the acoustics were improved by means of the installation of a new sound-board and safety enhanced by means of a new sprinkler system[1]

The theatre underwent a further £1 million refurbishment in 1985 and re-opened on the 19th of May with an all-star gala evening featuring Little and Large, and Frankie Vaughan under the name of the White Rock Theatre[2].

Urban Legend[edit]

There is an urban legend that the lower basement floor of the General Infirmary that stood on the site still exists below the level of the 'Sussex Room' and was used as the mortuary. This is not true. The ground was excavated out below the site to form the Sussex Room to construct the theatre, and in any event there is both a stream running underground beneath the theatre and the Royal East Sussex Hospital (complete with mortuary) was constructed prior to demolition of the older hospital.

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