Major upgrades are under way backstage at a historic east coast theatre.

Work behind the scenes at the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft is gathering pace - with a brand new cinema screen being installed among the developments.

A theatre spokesman said: "Normally at this time of year the Marina Theatre plays host to a range of films for all the family but this summer has seen the closure of the theatre's auditorium for some exciting upgrades."

The theatre's 35-year-old flying system is in the process of receiving "a much-needed replacement."

Lowestoft Journal: Marina Theatre in Lowestoft. Picture: Theatre in Lowestoft. Picture: (Image:

With the flying rig a crucial component of delivering productions on the Marina stage - as it is used to suspend cloths, sets, lights, cables, equipment and even fly cast members - the theatre’s technical manager, Matt Crawford, said: "When I first started at the theatre in the autumn of 2021, I knew one of my goals was to get the flying rig updated to give us better ability to deliver shows, facilitate our pantomimes and ensure the future of the Marina stage for many more years to come and I’m extremely happy to be leading this project."

As Centre Stage Engineering carries out these works, they are due to be completed in early September in time for the Marina Theatre to open on September 8 with A Tribute to The Carpenters.

The spokesman added: "As part of these works the Marina Theatre’s cinema screen will also be replaced, which itself is 23-years-old.

"The theatre looks forward to premiering the new screen on Wednesday, September 13 with a screening of André Rieu’s 2023 Maastricht concert."

The theatre's general manager, Sam Vallerius, said: "We are so thankful to our principle stakeholders, Lowestoft Town Council, for funding these most necessary works.

"These works will enable us to continue to deliver fantastic shows, films and screenings."

Sonia Barker, Mayor of Lowestoft, said: "I am delighted that Lowestoft Town Council has agreed to fund these upgrades at the Marina Theatre.

"We know how much residents and visitors enjoy visiting the theatre and these latest upgrades will ensure that the theatre can continue to be enjoyed for the foreseeable future."