On Thursday 11 May, Storyhouse opened its doors for the very first time!
At 8am, Storyhouse’s doors were unlocked for good, and won’t be closed to the public again until Christmas day. The very first performance was Storyhouse’s specially written inaugural in-house production – The Beggar’s Opera, which went down to a riotous standing ovation.
Over the opening weekend 10,000 people walked through the doors, with 3,500 visits on the first Saturday alone. More than 2,000 books were loaned from the library and 300 new library cards issued on the Saturday – compared to just six on the same Saturday in 2016.
Storyhouse’s cinema hosted screenings of Their Finest, Letters to Baghdad and A Sense Of An Ending, whilst the library held storytelling sessions and arts and crafts. Storyhouse’s restaurant – the kitchen – was fully booked.
Andrew Bentley, CEO of Storyhouse, said: “There has been a tremendous response from the public and we look forward to welcoming many more visitors over the coming months. People are making the building their own; they seem at home here – and that’s exactly what we wanted.”
Graham Lister, project director of Storyhouse, said: “It was a wonderful feeling welcoming people to the borough’s new cultural centre, here in the heart of Chester.
“We saw families in the library, teenagers in the cinema, couples at the theatre, groups of friends in the restaurant and in every corner individuals reading books or tapping away on laptops. Here’s to many more people discovering Storyhouse soon.”
This house is your house. What will you do with it?