New lighting highlights Art Deco glory of Joseph Rowntree Theatre

Visitors to one of York’s most striking art deco buildings, the Joseph Rowntree Theatre on Haxby Road, will be able to see more of the architecture even when daylight has faded, thanks to the installation of a new lighting and signage scheme.

The striking lettering on the brickwork is very much in keeping with the original design style of the building, and is complemented by illuminated theatre lights on top of the poster boards at the entrance to the driveway, making York’s hidden gem of a theatre a little less hidden!

“Part of this theatre’s charm is the distinctive style of the building, which regularly attracts visitors as enthusiastic about the architecture as they are about the shows being staged here, so it was important that we kept the new signage very much along the same lines as the original design,” comments managing director, Dan Shrimpton.  “Being set back from the roadside, it would be easy to miss the theatre if you were walking or driving past, but with more and more local groups and theatre companies choosing to stage their concerts and performances here, we need to make sure that their audiences arrive in good time for curtain up!”

The improvements have been funded through the operational surplus of the theatre and through various fundraising activities over the past few years. This has been a major undertaking for the charitable trust which runs the Grade 2 listed building, as the theatre receives no external funding for any of its operations, and ploughs all profits back into the upkeep and improvement of its facilities.

The new lighting and signage has been supported by architects PPIY, contractors JMark Construction and Listers Electrical, and signmakers Harrisons Signs.

Joseph Rowntree Theatre is run entirely by volunteers, and indeed, is currently recruiting for new trustees and board members to deal with the increasing number of bookings that the theatre receives.  The theatre is hosting two informal opportunities for potential candidates to meet other trustees: Saturday 8 November and Saturday 15 November at 10.00am. 

For more information on volunteering at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre, please contact Dan Shrimpton on 07511 123659 or visit


Links to photographs can be found at the bottom of this email, or high resolution pictures showing the theatre's new illumination scheme can be seen downloaded from

For further media information or photographs, please contact:

Jay Commins

Pyper York Limited

Tel:         01904 500698