THE Lord Mayor of Portsmouth demonstrated the importance of spending a penny as he officially opened the Kings Theatre’s new toilets.
The new toilets were paid for through an online crowdfunding campaign that saw hundreds of people make donations online.
Expanding and improving the dress circle toilets through the campaign, dubbed Give Pounds To Spend a Penny is the first stage of the planned multimillion-pound Big Project to make the venue fit for decades to come.
The Lord Mayor, councillor David Fuller is a patron of the Edwardian theatre, and has been a volunteer usher at the venue.
Joined by Lady Mayoress, Leza Tremorin, Cllr Fuller said how very glad they were to see that the Kings had been so well supported in the fundraising efforts in order to allow such a superb refurbishment.
He said: ‘This shows how loved and appreciated the Kings Theatre is by the people of Portsmouth.
‘It is a theatre that is truly at the heart of the community.
‘Being a patron of the Kings is a dream come true.’
Ron Hasker, the chairman of the board of trustees, said: ‘We’re a theatre of more than 100 years old that puts on this lovely stately front, and yet here we are launching ourselves into crowdfunding and social media, proving that we are also quite a modern theatre.
‘This is our first toe in the water with crowdfunding and I’m told that for the number of responses we had, the volume and the value was relatively high, which I think reflects the love people have for this building.
‘It holds an awful lot of affection for people.
‘I know this is called the Big Project, but I think that it actually started 15 years ago – we have done so much in that time, but it is the scale of what we’re doing now – there are a lot more zeros on the numbers involved.’
Corporate partners H Monfared (Builders) Ltd and Plumbase donated time and materials to help complete the project.
The campaign needed to raise £15,000, and saw theatre staff and patrons create a video to help drum up interest.
The work on the toilets have been completed in time for The Kings annual pantomime, which this year is Jack and The Beanstalk, Starring Vicki Michelle and Anne Hegerty, it runs from December 6 to January 1.