8th November 1972

The Little Theatre was reprieved… for a while

Just over a decade after the Sarnia Theatre company had celebrated it most profitable ever year, its premises were under threat. The Little Theatre in St Peter Port suddenly – and unexpectedly – closed its doors in October 1972 when its roof timbers were found to be unsafe.

This put in jeopardy a plan for the States of Guernsey to buy the theatre, which had been priced at £17,000. By the early 1970s, the non-profit company that ran it was facing serious losses and the theatre was relying on guarantees against those losses from the States.

Its closure was a blow for Guernsey, which had no other theatre to turn to – at least until the completion of Beau Sejour three years later.

A new hope

However, by 8 November it looked like a saviour might have been found. To save the States itself from buying the theatre, an unnamed investor said they would buy it and rent it to the States instead.

The States showed some interest, but only so long as it wasn’t responsible for repairing the roof. The cost of this was projected to be around 40% of the asking price of the whole building.

A new season

The States of Guernsey Recreation Committee placed an advert in the 13 September 1973 issue of The Stage inviting “offers for the presentation of summer productions at the Little Theatre, Guernsey (seating capacity 528), either for the season or for short runs”.

However, the building that housed the Little Theatre is no more. In March 1984 it was destroyed by fire, along with the nightclub downstairs. The only theatre on Guernsey now is the 400-seat auditorium at Beau Sejour which, despite the centre’s size, seats fewer than the “Little” Theatre could have managed.


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Other events that occured in November

Car plane air crash caused airport fireball 1st
A hospital worker stood accused of murder 2nd
Sark’s vineyards were vandalised 3rd
The original Torteval church was consecrated 4th
Sibyl Beaumont married Robert Hathaway 5th
The papers were excited by a Guernsey execution 6th
The States agrees to pay the Bailiff 7th
States of Guernsey hired its first independent vet
The Little Theatre was reprieved… for a while 8th
Guernsey was declared free of cholera 9th
Guernsey optician Specsavers was founded 10th
The court considered a Guernsey porn dealer’s testimony 11th
Guernsey Yacht Club was founded 12th
Guernsey aimed for equal adoption rights 13th
Jethou’s tenant fell off his own cliff 14th
Dad’s Army actor John le Mesurier died 15th
A Guernsey recruit regretted signing up 16th
Horticultural painter William Caparne was born 17th
German forces confiscated Guernsey’s radios 18th
A plane crashed on Crevichon 19th
Sark featured in the music charts 20th
Guernsey recruits caused concern in Parliament 21st
First Guernsey competitor took part in Miss World 22nd
A Lancaster bomber crashed on Sark 23rd
Sark women get the right to inherit 24th
Spanish flu arrived on Guernsey 25th
Guernsey held its first full marathon 26th
Admiral Thomas Le Marchant Gosselin died 27th
HMS Boreas sank at Hanois 28th
Radio station Contact 94 went off the air 29th
Royal Guernsey Light Infantry memorial was unveiled 30th