Guernsey Press

Standing room only at Beau Sejour’s theatre

IT IS standing room only at Beau Sejour theatre at the moment as a major refurbishment has seen all the seats removed.

The theatre at Beau Sejour is having the seats replaced. Martyn Bourgaize is the project and programme manager and also helped replace the seats last time it was done 30 years ago. Inset is the picture from last time it was done. Martyn is second from left. (Picture By Peter Frankland, 32426781)

Sam Herridge, head of recreation services, said that the current seating was more than 30 years old and had started to fail.

‘Unfortunately, because of the age of the seats, it was getting increasingly difficult to source replacement parts,’ she said.

‘The theatre is one of the few areas which wasn’t touched during the main centre refurbishment in 2003.’

In addition to replacing the 400 seats, the theatre will be redecorated, including new carpeting, and new more energy-efficient LED house lights.

The theatre will be closed for the rest of the summer before its scheduled reopening on Saturday 7 October.

‘The theatre is a valuable community asset, hosting local and visitor amateur and professional productions, as well as providing a venue for meetings, presentations and of course, cinema, when there’s space in its busy calendar,’ Ms Herridge said.

‘As such, it is important we maintain the theatre to a standard endeavouring to meet customer expectations.’

Project and programme manager Martyn Bourgaize was working at the cinema when the current seating was fitted.

‘A French company came over to fit them, they didn’t speak English and we didn’t speak French,’ he said.

‘Luckily one of our cleaners, who’s also still working here, was French and came in and did all the translating.’

Mr Bourgaize, who marks 40 years working at Beau Sejour in December, said that previous seats came from the Odeon cinema, which closed down in 1980, and were stored for a period in St James until being fitted at Beau Sejour.

‘We had loads of issues with the seats from the Odeon,’ he said.

‘They were forever breaking which is why they had to be replaced.’