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    An Ancient Theatre

    Originally designed by John Johnson, this theatre opened in 1875 and had a capacity for seating 2,500. Its stage, of mechanised timber is characteristic of Victorian theatres and is probably one of the earliest examples in English theatre with a facility for counterweight flying. The theatre has had an extremely chequered past, in addition to its theatrical uses it has served as a cinema, a centre for Belgian refugees, part of a German internment camp and a BBC prop store.