Evicted Brighton theatre in search for new home – and name

Posted On 03 Nov 2016 at 10:13 am

A new Brighton theatre says its “world has been turned upside down” after being evicted from its striking home following the closure of its front of house cafe.
88-london-road
88 London Road, formerly Emporium, reassured audiences that the show would go on in its renovated Methodist Church after the cafe went bust a few weeks ago.

There were plans to rework the entrances so the cafe area could be independently let – but now the landlord has decided to renovate the whole building instead.

James Weisz

James Weisz


A theatre spokeswoman said: “The landlord of the premises – previously a Methodist church which director James Weisz and his team had renovated into a quirky theatre and café-bar – has given the theatre notice and 88 London Road will be bringing down the curtains at the site after its final performance of panto Beauty & The Beast on 1st January 2017.

“The café-bar was recently separated from the theatre and there were plans to turn it into a Greek restaurant, with the theatre carrying on accessed via a separate street entrance, but now the landlord has decided to renovate the whole building and put it back on the market.

The Spearhead

“Nothing will derail James Weisz’s plans to continue to bring home-grown theatre to the city though, and he is currently considering several local options and opportunities. More will be revealed in due course.

“Meantime, patrons can see 88 London Road’s performance of dark thriller Wait Until Dark until 29th November, followed by panto Beauty & The Beast.

“Sundae Surprise will be popping up in the café space from next week delivering hot and cold food, cake and coffee, and will run in conjunction with the theatre until the closure.”

Emporium was one of the venues opening on London Road which contributed to a buzz around the run-down area, coinciding with the regeneration of The Level, the building of hundreds of student rooms in the old Co Op building, and followed soon after by the reopening of the new Open Market.

Since then, even more trendy cafes and bars have opened along the road, with older pubs also undergoing a facelift.

  1. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    i am sorry to this theatre go. We need such spaces in Hove and Brighton. Meanwhile, there is the delightful Rialto at the bottom of Dyke Road, and this has a very comfortable bar – a great retreat from the nearby hurly burly.

  2. Hollie Wassenaar Reply

    The Iron Duke pub/hotel in Hove (Waterloo Street) also has a theatre. Its a lovely little venue with the added bonus of a bar too!

  3. Anon Reply

    When you continually don’t pay your rent, bills, staff and suppliers and blame it on everyone else, that’s what happens…

  4. james delicata Reply

    As the Landlord of the building, im very surprised to read that this article makes no mention that the reason for the eviction is due to extreme rent arrears.

    I am very passionate about the regeneration of London Road. And i truly belive the theatre is a real asset and draw to the area.

    I have done my utmost in trying to support this venture and delay giving notice of eviction, but Mr Wisz’s company now owes about 5 months rent.

    I have not taken this decision lightly, but there comes a point where we have to draw a line and cut our losses. Which is why notice was served.

    I sincerely wish Mr Weisz all the best in the future, hes a very nice person. But i simply cannot afford to let his company continue their tenancy.

    I will be renovating the property and then be looking for new tenant. We have already had a number of enquiries and im confident a new theater will be opening shortly.

    please email me if you have any questions jdelicata@hotmail.co.uk

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