History of the Arts Centre

Arts Centre Entrance today

Was your appetite whetted by hearing the conversation between our own Anya Noakes and Rosemary King on The Alfred Daily on 1 June 2020 (go to around 13m 40s in)? Then search no more! Explore the history of the Arts Centre from this very page.

See the story featured on OutReach: Tales From the Village - Shaftesbury on August 20 2020

A Phoenix from the Ashes: The Story of The Old Marketplace Theatre and The Shaftesbury Arts Centre
Written by Anya Noakes

With thanks to Eric Olsen for allowing us to reproduce photos from his Images of England books "Shaftesbury" and "Shaftesbury Recollections" and to Mike Sims for his extensive historical knowledge and photos of the Arts Centre.

Prologue: A Brief History of Shaftesbury

Part 1: Arrival of Moving Pictures and Creation of the Arts Club

Part 2: The Purchase and Conversion of the Upper Market Hall

Old Market Playhouse entrance (between 1952 and 1956)

Part 3: Grand Opening of the Old Market Playhouse

Part 4: A Phoenix From the Ashes

Part 5: Into the 21st Century

A brief timeline of our history

If you have any further information about our history or any photos you'd like to share with us, please don't hesitate to get in touch by contacting editor@shaftesburyartscentre.org.uk.


We would love to introduce you to the judges in our 19yr + for our talent show - 'Take a Bow'

Head over to our website and facebook page to take a look!


We have another short story for you as part of our show case - 'Once Upon a Line'

Twins by John Parker - have a listen!


Just two more days to see this group show 'Creative & Brave' - closes tomorrow at 4pm. Full of colour and diverse ideas - painting, surface pattern on a variety of products and driftwood assemblage. #abstractart #patternmaking #assemblage. #dorsetartists http://ow.ly/liv550AmLi4

A little bit later than planned, but here is part 5 from 'Wilde about Shaftesbury'

Have a listen - http://ow.ly/CMiT50AvSuC

#shaftesbury #dorset #somethingforeveryone

Have you had a chance to listen to our show case of short stories?


Go on - grab a cuppa and have a listen!

#shaftesbury #dorset #somethingforeveryone

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