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VENUE

The Heritage City is an indisputable world class leader in the field of historical architecture. But even the longest-established residents are aware that, away from the iconic heritage trail, there’s always a new old treasure to discover - and The Forum is one such hidden gem.

Having opened its doors to the public as a cinema in 1934, this remarkable venue celebrates its 80th birthday in May 2014. The cinema remained in operation until 1969 and the building has since accommodated a bingo hall and a dance school before Bath City Church took the building over in 1989. “Many people don’t realise that The Forum is Bath’s biggest venue and the third largest seated auditorium in the south west of England,” says Daniel Hogston, who is justifiably proud of managing this unique venture. But for many years, the building was overlooked, unloved and allowed to slip into a state of careworn disarray. “When Bath City Church took The Forum over, it had been allowed to crumble into a sorry state of disrepair,” says Dan. “Thankfully, the church restored it to its former glory and recently set up a company called Bath Forum Ltd to manage the venue and deliver a new programme of events and to look at refurbishment as an ongoing project”.

Today, The Forum represents a true reflection of typical Art Deco-era splendour including lacquered wood fixtures and fittings and gold-leafed flourishes all subtly vying for your attention. In the elegant auditorium, the iconic green cinema seats offer a spacious, luxurious audience experience.

By Melissa Blease (The Source, Bath, November 2013)
 
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