On finding the Old Institute
We were walking down Stone Street Llandovery
It was the year 1975
He said – hey girl – look over there, what do you see?
I looked, where he said, I’m obedient like that. I see nothing, I said, but an old crumbly building with much broken glass –
What is it? he asked – what is this place here?
How do I know Simon, never seen it before.
He touched at the wall, kicked at the debris – then smiled,
I don’t know much, Jacky, but I know this – This is where our dream begins, this is where it is.
Llandovery Theatre, with the Roman Fort of Alabum on the hill above, lies on the edge of the town, adjacent to the Roman burial ground, where today the children still find Roman relics in the fields behind their houses.
The Theatre, once a church or chapel, then a Drovers Court, in 1840 a school where 200 children attended, and latterly an Institute and Reading Rooms. By the time we found it, the building was derelict, and under threat of demolition – it is now a precious jewel.
‘You can’t imagine my delight when I walked in. Immediately I felt I had stepped into a secret magical place…such an air of vibrant creative energy and welcoming warmth, as well as the lovely and varied corners of the physical environment. What a gift of a place for Llandovery’
Letter from visitor to Llandovery.
Yes, the interior of the Theatre is beautiful. We have wasted no effort to embellish the exterior, but step inside and it will be a hard heart that does not sense the magic that is here. The Theatre has an auditorium that seats 120, it boasts almost perfect acoustics; there is a coffee lounge, library, green room, dressing rooms, the Anne Marie Art Gallery, and it is all there for the pleasure of our audiences and visitors.