A new garden room, complete with a café bar, could soon open at a York theatre.
The room would be built in front of the Joseph Rowntree Theatre on Haxby Road, and would also include two accessible toilets.
“This will address the key areas of criticism of the theatre which has limited toilet facilities inside and a very limited foyer area allowing for no socialising and waiting pre-show,” say planning documents.
The garden room is designed as a temporary structure. It will stay in place for up to five years, “whilst the theatre fundraises for a permanent extension to the building to support community theatre in providing rehearsal and exhibition space as well as improved facilities for theatre goers”.
The garden room will have a refreshment area for serving drinks and snacks, and both seating and standing room.
And “the frontage will open out to allow audience members to use the outside area in good weather”.
It will be timber framed, with a pitched, overhanging roof offering additional shelter, and aluminium-framed doors which fold back.
Built in 1935 for the benefit of staff at Rowntree’s, their friends and the local community, Joseph Rowntree Theatre has got busier in recent years.
During 2018-19, it hosted 56 events and 150 performances, selling more than 33,000 tickets – 7,000 more than the year before.
Although it was closed from March 2020 to May 2021 because of the pandemic, “groups and audiences are returning”.
You can read and comment on the planning application here.