There's obviously something afoot in regional theatres, with the Leicester Haymarket closing for refurbishment for a year, and the Oxford Apollo due to emerge from its own substantial refurbishment (on Sept. 6) with not just new facilities but a new name: The New Theatre.
History plays a part in the decision, because the New was the theatre's original name, which was changed in 1977 when the Apollo Leisure Group took over the management of the building. Beginning Sept. 6, 2003, the Oxford Apollo will officially revert to its former name, the New Theatre, Oxford, and on that day, a spectacular relaunch party will take place at the theatre to celebrate the New Theatre's new name.
The theatre entered its 70th birthday on Feb. 26, a celebration marked by its refurbishment, which comes to a head in July and August. Many of the theatre's original Art Deco features will also be restored, and the backstage areas will be modernized to improve access for visiting productions.