A community campaign to save a theatre in Streatham has hit its funding target ten days early.  

The money will go towards plans to revive the dormant Streatham Hill Theatre as a multi-purpose arts and cultural venue, and for a professional viability study to develop proposals and options for a sustainable business model. 

The campaign to save the 2,800-capacity theatre, launched in January by Friends of Streatham Hill Theatre, aimed to raise £34,325 by May 25. 

The target was “smashed” this week, while the council announced a £7,500 pledge to help the cause, which will be added to the total.  

The theatre tweeted: “You’ve done it! You’ve gone and blown the doors off our target! 

“We are speechless at your generosity, love, commitment and support. 

“We can now move forward with our plans to save Streatham Hill Theatre as an arts and cultural centre for our community.” 

David Harvey, chair of the Friends of Streatham Hill Theatre said: “The Spacehive crowdfunder went over the line from individual contributions from people and businesses following a concerted effort by campaign volunteers and supporters as we approached the deadline.  

“It was really great to see the enthusiastic support coming in as people think about what’s needed when we come out of Covid-19 lockdown.” 

Councillor Matthew Bennett, cabinet member for planning, investment and new homes, wrote to the Friends group, congratulating them on running an “inspiring” campaign that gained strong local support. 

He said: “I‘m delighted this money will see the campaign meet its fundraising target and I look forward to working with the owners, FOSHT, the BID and others in bringing the former theatre back into productive use. 

“The council is keen to support community projects and initiatives that help our town centres thrive and make Lambeth a place where people want to live, work, and invest.” 

Friends of Streatham Hill Theatre will continue to raise funds until May 25 and any extra funding will go towards future phases, such as an economic impact assessment to show the benefits to the local economy from regenerating the old theatre as a new arts and cultural centre.

The theatre opened in 1929 and played host to theatre, opera, ballet and music hall acts until 1962, when it was converted into a Mecca bingo hall.

It was Grade II-listed in 1994, when it was described as “an unusually lavish example of a theatre built in the short-lived revival of building in 1929–30; as a suburban example of this date the building may be unique”.

The building has been on the Theatre’s Trust Theatres at Risk register since 2018, when Lambeth Council granted Asset of Community Value status to it, meaning that should the owners wish to sell it, the community has a chance to buy it.