Seafront theatre set for big improvements and balcony dining

How the Spa Pavilion will look after the expansion project is built 

How the Spa Pavilion will look after the expansion project is built - Credit: KLH ARCHITECTS /SPA PAVILION

Proposals have been submitted for an exciting addition to Felixstowe's seafront theatre to create a rooftop open-air balcony and extend its dining experiences.

The extension will be built on the sea-facing side of the Spa Pavilion - turning the existing ground level parlour cafe into a multi-use area with bigger kitchen to serve the whole venue, and new toilets.

This would increase the size of the cafe as well as providing a small performance and function space.

The new balcony eating area would be above this and alongside the current main lounge dining area, extending the dining facilities indoors and out.

Spa Pavilion

Felixstowe's Spa Pavilion is to be extended on its seaward side with a bigger cafe and a balcony for its upstairs restaurant - Credit: SOPHIE KENNELLY

It is the latest project by the Spa management - who took over the theatre six years ago after it had been closed and boarded up for two years - to restore it to its former glory, providing an all-year-round programme of quality shows plus food.

Plans drawn up by KLH Architects on behalf of the Spa Pavilion have been submitted to East Suffolk Council.

In a report KLH Architects said the windows of the upstairs restaurant will be entirely replaced by a band of glazed internal bi-fold doors This will mean the removal of the 1960s triangular protruding windows which were out of keeping with the original balcony on the Spa back in the 1930s and 40s.

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The report adds: "A contemporary glazing system will not only provide a clean and architecturally sensitive primary facade but will enhance the thermal performance of the building and its internal environment."

The aim of the proposals are to help the economic viability of the theatre "to evolve and grow with the changing requirements of entertainment and catering venues in order to remain an important economic focus in Felixstowe and wider area".

The design also makes the best use of the sea views available both for diners upstairs in the restaurant and in the cafe below.

The extended facilities - around 218 sq m in total - will be open daily until 6.30pm and until 11pm on show nights. The project could create 18 new jobs. 

The earliest version of the Spa Pavilion was built on the site in 1909 and the current theatre - set in listed Edwardian gardens -  dates from the 1950s, having been rebuilt following war-time bomb damage.