Guiseley Amateur Operatic Society want to buy Guiseley Theatre from Leeds City Council and make it into the community asset that Leeds have neither the funds or will to do. GAOS have ambitious plans for the Theatre’s future – so come and take a look at both the Theatre and what it could be on 31st January 2015. GAOS website, click here.
Guiseley Theatre was built-in 1867 by Sir Matthew William Thompson. He gave the building to the people of Guiseley for the use of the community. At that time it was known as “The Town Hall”, and although it was maintained by Guiseley UDC and then Aireborough UDC from 1938, it was never used as municipal offices other than housing a part-time Rates collection office.
Shortly after Aireborough was incorporated into Leeds Metropolitan District in 1972, Leeds considered closing Guiseley Town Hall. The Hall, however, was still used by many community groups. So, with the cooperation of all the users, the Guiseley Amateur Operatic Society (GAOS) took over the administration of the building in 1985. The Society have continued to administer the renamed Guiseley Theatre for the benefit of the whole community of Guiseley and its environs.
However, the Theatre has now reached another milestone, where Leeds again, do not have the money or will for the upkeep of the Theatre, and GAOS are seeking a community buy out. With that in mind they have refurbished the Offenbach Room with a view to hiring it out to more community groups. They have ambitious development plans and require both funds and volunteers to develop Guiseley Theatre as a modern, community asset.
So, on Saturday 31st January 2015, 11am to 3pm, they are having an Open Day, to show people around the theatre, its facilities and what it has to offer. The doors of the Theatre will be thrown open and local residents invited to step behind the scenes, to tread the boards or the stage and see exactly how theatre is made.
The Theatre is an important asset to the community, it provides a venue for young people to develop their musical and thespian talents, as well a venue for local clubs – something we are short of. We need to save our Theatre and develop it, please come to the Open Day and support.