Shanklin Theatre is a Victorian theatre hosting a full programme of professional and amateur productions, as good as a London West End theatre, but a fraction of the price.
Shanklin Theatre is open throughout the year where it hosts events ranging from a Christmas Pantomime, a professional summer season, local amateur dramatics, a children's stage school, the Isle of Wight Dance Festival and workshops for visiting school parties.
For a full what's on guide, see the Shanklin Theatre website
Shanklin Theatre was formerly known as The Institute and opened in 1879. In 1884 new rooms were added, the Reading Room and Amusement Room. Visitors were charged 1d to use the Reading Room and this was housed in the lower section of the building to the right of the main front facade. The Amusement Room had two billiard tables and was managed by the Shanklin Chess Club.
In 1913 the Council ordered that the words Institute and Reading Room be erased from the building and it then became The Town Hall.
In 1925 a serious fire occurred, which seriously damaged the Institute, but not the Town Hall. After much deliberation by the Shanklin Urban District Council, approval to proceed with reconstruction was given in 1932.
During World War Two the Theatre was used for dances and many other kinds of entertainment.
After the war the Theatre came into its own with the Barry O'Brien Company putting on repertory plays every week of the summer season, and on Sundays there would be concerts shared with Sandown Pavilion, to include many famous names of the era.