A PURBECK theatre which closed more than six months ago due to the pandemic will finally reopen next month, it has been announced.

Swanage's Mowlem Theatre is set to reopen in October with a series of event screenings and family movies.

The Mowlem's trustees and its operations manager, Thomas Curtis, had considered reopening the theatre during the summer months, during the holiday season which saw crowds flock to the seaside town, but the continued risk of coronavirus during that period was considered too great at the time.

However, now the risk is reduced, theatre bosses say, and with additional cleaning, social distancing and safety measures in place, the management is confident audiences can be attracted back.

Mr Curtis said: "We’ve made lots of improvements behind the scenes to make people’s visit an experience to remember.

"We want to remind people why the theatre is a special place to be, a real event they can look forward to."

The Mowlem's interior has been revamped over the past months, with trustees and volunteers redecorating the foyer, landings and auditorium.

Mowlem Trust chairman Matthew Haysom said: "We’ve decorated everything from the auditorium to the ladies' toilets, some of it for the first time in twenty years.

"We think people will like what they see."

The opening programme includes a series of five event screenings beginning with Matthew Bourne’s ‘The Red Shoes’ filmed live at Sadler’s Wells in London, and including live recordings of 42nd Street, Kinky Boots and The King & I.

During October half-term The Mowlem will also show three family favourite movies priced at £5.

Tickets for all events can be booked at www.mowlemtheatre.co.uk, by calling 0333 666 3366 (telephone booking available 9am-5pm Monday to Friday) or by visiting the Box Office on Mondays and Fridays between 10.30am-1.30pm from September 28.