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The inside of a theatre auditorium, with three columns of seats on the ground floor and a balcony with further seating above it.

Palace Court Theatre: An ongoing story...

An exhibition by TheGallery in partnership with BA (Hons) Modelmaking for AUB External Engagement


  • Event
  • |
  • AUB Campus
  • |
  • TheGallery
  • |
  • Palace Court Theatre


Location: Student Services, AUB Campus

The Palace Court Theatre: An ongoing story... pop-up exhibition is a celebration of AUB’s acquisition of the Palace Court Theatre, the recent temporary enabling works, and its reopening as The Exploratorium, a site for experimental and exploratory work.

AUB’s purchase of the Palace Court Theatre forms part of a new Civic and Cultural Engagement plan implemented by the university to support the development of the creative industries and the regeneration of Bournemouth’s town centre through creative and cultural activity. It also marks the first time that the theatre has been available for public performances in almost 40 years.

The exhibition looks at the Palace Court Theatre’s iconic history as the hub of the dramatic and artistic scene in Bournemouth for several decades, as well as its new role as a part of the AUB town centre campus. In its interim state, during which it'll be known as The Exploratorium, it's been made safe to use as a teaching, learning, research and innovation resource and as a venue for local artists to develop new ideas. In time, AUB hopes to work with partners to undergo more extensive restoration, so that it can be used as a fully functional theatrical performance space.

The display narrates the history of the Palace Court Theatre, showcasing its long-standing position as a creative resource for those in the arts industry. It also includes a miniature scale architectural model, commissioned by AUB’s BA (Hons) Modelmaking course, showing the internal layout of the theatre.

The revival of the theatre, through AUB’s investment and its recent role as the hub of the inaugural AUB town centre takeover festival, Wake Up to AUB, in February this year saw the venue host several live performances and exhibitions.

Also featured here are two showreels to include unseen archival footage of the theatre from 1930s to 1980s, and interviews with some of the university’s stakeholders discussing the theatre's importance as a new and invaluable teaching and learning resource for supporting our students to develop their creative skills and advance their practice.

TheGallery works with courses right across the university on a variety of exhibitions, events and projects. Palace Court Theatre: An ongoing story... is another example of a collaborative project, this time with BA (Hons) Modelmaking, for AUB External Engagement.

TheGallery provides advice and support on all the curatorial and technical aspects of the exhibition, and its team works on the projects from start to finish. The exhibitions are formally part of our Gallery Programme.

TheGallery provides a national and international public platform for the arts within the sub-region, and we promote the University’s shared passion for excellence in education, industry, and the art sector.

The work of TheGallery is a testament of our AUB goals and values and is inclusive of all and the ideas of all.

BA (Hons) Modelmaking at AUB

With an international reputation, BA (Hons) Modelmaking is a leading course in its field, enabling students to progress into the diverse world of professional makers. The course equips students to become independent thinkers, capable of solving problems and taking imaginative leaps in creative design.

Modelmaking is a highly rewarding experience for anyone interested in making or design, with our graduates working in an exciting range of careers at award-wining companies such as Dyson, Foster + Partners, and Merlin Entertainment; on theatre, film, and TV productions such as Star Wars, Jurassic World, Shaun the Sheep, and Spider-Man; and for clients as diverse as the Natural History Museum, Selfridges, Apple, and NASA.

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