So the sorry saga of the Futurist draws to a close. Future generations will look back in incredulity as to what we allowed to happen in 2018.
The Futurist was the fifth largest theatre in Britain outside of London and one of the very few in the country which could handle large travelling shows which are now enjoying a revival. It was designed by famous architect Frank Tugwell and it beggars belief that Scarborough was actually blessed with two examples of his fine work and both are now gone. The other being the Grade II listed Opera House which was needlessly demolished after a fire, in spite of restoration being a possibility. One of Tugwell’s other masterpieces is the Savoy Theatre in London. Would they dream of demolishing that?
The tacky fairground rides being planned for the Futurist site are a further example of the dumbing down of our cultural status and we now have an open-air theatre which is closed for most of the year.
Restoration of the Spa was welcomed but with its low capacity and non-tiered seating it can hardly be described as a theatre. How long will it be before we see bingo sessions being held there?
The people of Scarborough were never allowed to see the magnificent faïence façade of the Futurist in all its glory with the 1960s cladding removed and its destruction done under wraps.
Has any of it been salvaged or saved for posterity?
Shame on you Scarborough Council for allowing this dreadful travesty to take place and depriving the town of what could have been a major boost to our tourist industry had the £4m demolition costs been put towards restoring the theatre. What an appalling legacy you will all be remembered for.
Fairground rides are 10 a penny but not many resorts can boast of a rare and historic 2,000 seater theatre on the sea-front. Neither can Scarborough now.
Blands Cliff, Scarborough