Dorset

Bridport's Electric Palace sold to west Dorset family

Electric Palace Image copyright Google
Image caption The Electric Palace was originally opened as a venue for the Bridport Operatic Society

A Dorset arts venue previously saved from dereliction has been sold.

Bridport Electric Palace shut in 1999 due to concerns about the safety of the balcony but reopened in 2007 following a revamp.

The former opera house, built in 1926, was put on the market for £550,000 in August last year.

It has now been bought by a family from west Dorset. In the past it has attracted stars including comedian Al Murray and musician PJ Harvey.

'Loyal audience'

New manager Sue Warren said the existing staff would keep their jobs.

She added she hoped the "quirky" Art Deco venue would continue to attract "big acts".

"We have a very loyal audience here, both for music and comedy, so it's quite and easy sell," she said.

Previous owner Peter Hitchin put the South Street venue up for sale when he retired from running it.

It was runner-up in the Rock The House's Best Small Live Venue 2012 award.

Originally, it opened as a venue for the Bridport Operatic Society but branched out into showing films a few years later.

It has one of the only surviving 35mm projectors in the UK and maintains its Art Deco interior.

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