Stephen Joseph Theatre switches on its neon lights again after years 'in the dark'

The SJT is lit by neon again. Photo: Tony Bartholomew
The SJT is lit by neon again. Photo: Tony Bartholomew

Scarborough’s town centre is again being lit by the dramatic neon lights of the Stephen Joseph Theatre.

The building, originally a classic 1936 Odeon, has been without its signature red and green accent lighting for several years now.

The theatre without the new lights on. Photo: Tony Bartholomew

The theatre without the new lights on. Photo: Tony Bartholomew

They were switched on again last night – the opening night of the theatre’s next main summer production, a revival of Alan Ayckbourn’s classic comedy Season’s Greetings.

The installation has been made possible thanks to support from Arts Council England Lottery funding, and the Coastal Revival Fund.

Theatre Manager Paul Baines said: “We restored the neon lighting on the building to its original appearance when we moved into the former Odeon cinema in 1996. In recent years it has become increasingly difficult to maintain traditional neons, and sadly parts of it had faded or stopped working altogether.

“It has now been replaced by a modern alternative called Linearlight Flex, which is much more durable, and, as it uses LEDs, is extremely energy-efficient, using less than a quarter of the power of the original neon.”

The SJT’s Executive Director, Caroline Routh, says: “The neons are an integral part of this iconic building and really add something special to the night-time experience in Scarborough town centre. We’re delighted to see this landmark lighting up the town centre again, and we’re hugely grateful to everyone who helped us to achieve this.”

Minister of State for Local Growth, the Rt Hon Jake Berry MP, said: “I'm proud to see the Government's Coastal Revival Fund supporting the restoration of the iconic, art-deco Stephen Joseph Theatre while shining a bright light on the world-renowned cultural offering of this coastal town.

“Thanks to Government investment, this historic building is being restored to its former glory, paying homage to its rich social contribution to Scarborough while attracting theatre-goers from far and wide.”