Studio Theatre will be restored with a new copper roof


Brighton & Hove City Council’s planning committee have approved proposals to replace the damaged Studio Theatre roof. A new copper roof can now be installed to protect and restore the Grade II listed building as part of its major refurbishment.

Built in 1935, the Studio Theatre (previously known as the Pavilion Theatre) in New Road was originally used as a supper room for Corn Exchange events, and was later converted into a theatre in the 1950s. In recent years the roof has been temporarily patched-up but the original copper has continued to fracture and is now too fragile to repair. Making the roof safe and watertight will also protect the interior of the historic building for the long-term.

The pyramid shaped roof will initially have a dramatic appearance as the new metal will have a bright copper colour. As the metal naturally ages, its appearance will change from a soft brown within the first year and will eventually have the same green patination as the existing roof. As part of the works, the old copper roof will be recycled by the contractor.

Councillor Martin Osborne, lead member for culture & tourism, Brighton & Hove City Council said:

“Replacing the copper on the Studio Theatre will provide a unique opportunity to see what the roof looked like when it was originally built, and it will secure the building’s long-term future for visitors to enjoy for years to come. It is great to see the restoration taking shape, with works able to continue during the pandemic. When the venues re-open they will make a significant contribution to the city’s cultural recovery.”

Andrew Comben, Brighton Dome Chief Executive added:

“We are delighted to hear that the council have granted permission for these essential repairs to the Studio Theatre roof. As we move into the final phase of the refurbishment, the buildings are steadily revealing the stunning venues they will become and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to enjoy them.”

The Studio Theatre improvements are part of the Royal Pavilion Estate regeneration project, a partnership between Brighton & Hove City Council, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival and the Royal Pavilion & Museums Trust to revitalise the estate and secure its future as a world-class cultural destination.

Read more about the latest restoration work here.