Our History

Born as the Medina Community Theatre in April 1979. This illustrious venue unfolded as part of a ground breaking £3 million school complex. Locally known as Medina College. At its inception, the theatre, costing approximately £150,000. It was envisioned as a community project catering to diverse interests.

Under the stewardship of Ray Thomas, the Theatre Director, and Martin Dimmery, both drama teachers, the Medina Community Theatre became a hub for creativity. Keith Thomas, the theatre technician, and Irene Groves, the secretary, played pivotal roles in its establishment. Designed with versatility in mind. The 425-seat theatre aimed to host a spectrum of performances. From dance to drama, presenting by both amateur and professional groups.

Despite its dual function as a school hall, the theatre actively sought to foster connections within the local community, encouraging public engagement.

 In its early years, the Theatre thrived with the support of around 70 dedicated volunteers. A strong tradition that remains today. Financial backing from:

  • Isle of Wight County Council,
  • Medina Borough Council,
  • South Wight Borough Council,
  • Southern Arts

This support ensured the theatre’s sustained growth. Southern Arts, in particular, contributed funds to help the staging of professional performances.

Medina Theatre History Image

There were some very famous faces that graced the stage in the early years. These included the celebrities Rowan Atkinson and Judi Dench (now Dame Judi Dench). In the early 1980s, the entire centre was renamed the Mountbatten Centre by HRH Prince Charles, now King Charles III.

Over the years, various bodies have had responsibility for Medina Theatre, but the essence of Medina Theatre has endured. One of the biggest changes came in 1996 when access to the Theatre was revamped. A bridge linking the theatre to the leisure centre was installed. This relocated the entrance and introduced a new box office and bar area.

Yet, the theatre’s commitment to the local community remains unwavering. Today, it stands as a vibrant, community-centric venue. Hosting an array of captivating performances across the entire spectrum of the performing arts, both professional and amateur. Medina Theatre truly ensures. There is something for everyone. Embodying the spirit of cultural inclusivity that has defined its rich history since 1979.

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