PERFORMING arts fans will have the chance to be part of a theatre’s history by funding its new seats.

The Chorley Little Theatre is set to rip out all of its 236 seats and replace them with modern ones.

The centre, which is run by volunteers, is looking to raise £20,000 to help pay for the £80,000 refurbishment.

The rest of the money is to be sought through other fundraisers and grants.

Those who donate towards the project will have their name immortalised on a wall of fame which will be built in the Dole Lane theatre.

Chairman Ian Robinson said the new seats are bigger and a new layout will provide more leg room.

He said: “The seats we have now have been there for several decades.

“They are literally falling apart.

“We’re at the stage were we cannot repair them and we cannot have people missing out on watching a show because of a broken seat.

“The theatre doesn’t have the cash to pay for it so we need to raise the money.

“People can donate as much as they want, but by donating certain amounts they will get a mug, a hoodie and a certificate.

“People can sponsor a seat and become immortalised on our wall of fame, which will be a great new feature for the theatre.”

The centre has been open since 1910 and has been operated by Chorley Amateur Dramatic and Operatic Society since 1960.

The new layout would have six fewer seats than the current plan, but would keep its three wheelchair spaces.

It is set to close at the end of July for the work to be done and the cash is needed before the revamp can start.

Around £4,000 has been raised so far.

Chorley Youth Theatre is also based at the site, as well as the Chorley Empire Community Theatre, which shows films on a 21ft wide screen.

Mr Robinson, who has been part of the theatre for 27 years, and chairman for nine years, said: “It’s essential we get the new seats.

“If we can’t sell all our seats we will lose income and we wouldn’t want the theatre to close.

“It’s a great asset to Chorley and there’s nowhere else in the town that puts on shows like we do.

“It’s used by 20,000 people a year, it is something Chorley wants and needs.

“We are all volunteers who make sure the theatre is run properly.

“We don’t get paid, we do it for the love of the theatre and these seats will ensure its future.”

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