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Address: North Road | Shorncliffe, Folkestone CT20 3HL, England
Phone Number: 01303 223925
Website
Today
9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Description:

THE TOWER THEATRE

ABOUT US

The Tower Theatre is a Community Theatre for...

THE TOWER THEATRE

ABOUT US

The Tower Theatre is a Community Theatre for anyone to visit or use for their own functions or meetings. FHODS (Folkestone and Hythe Operatic and Dramatic Society) are very proud of the 300 seat auditorium and the large function area allowing them to offer more than the very best in drama and light entertainment.

FROM CHURCH TO THEATRE

The square brick tower of the former Garrison Church of St Mark in Shorncliffe, near Folkestone, is a landmark for miles around. There were once several major Army units stationed all around, but gradually the Garrison shrank and finally became the home of one unit only – a Battalion of Gurkhas, who had small use for a Christian Church. By good fortune it stood at the edge of the barracks on a public road, so could be detached from MOD property by re-aligning a fence, and in 1998 the decision was taken to ‘alienate’ – in civilian parlance, SELL IT.

It was built of brick, with gothic doors and windows in stone, and powerful over-arching concrete arches across the vault of the nave – altogether a fine piece of architecture, but an astonishing feat in 1941! Where did they find the bricks two years into the War, when even the re-building of bombed-out houses was already being restricted to ‘Utility Build Standards’? One would have thought too that the skilled builders would have gone off to fight; or was foreign prisoner labour used? In fact the building shows no sign of economy, and its size and provocative position on a hilltop, visible from NAZI occupied France, and a marker for every passing bomber raid, might well have been conceived as a statement of defiance – a one-finger gesture!

If so, it had the desired effect: within days, Lord Haw Haw’s mocking tones were heard announcing the newly completed Church at Shorncliffe was to be bombed, and allegedly an attempt was made two nights later, but it was unsuccessful. Curiously, military churches are not consecrated, but dedicated, and notice was taken of the threat, for when Archbishop Fisher arrived to perform the Service of Dedication to St Mark, he was (surely uniquely?) given an escort of Spitfires as overhead protection.

57 years later, the final moving service was held at the 11th hour of the 11th month of November – a significant moment to close a soldiers’ church. Afterwards the stained glass was relocated, the organ sold, the books and banners removed, and the Sale advertised. It was FHODS’ opportunity. The Society received the keys in 2001 and the planning (and fund-raising) began.

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Folkestone Jazz Club at the Tower Theatre Foyer Lounge.

This is 'Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club' Soho.....in Folkestone. It is an amazing achievement, created and sustained by Beryl And Derick, the organisers. For several years now they have... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed September 24, 2015
rdevenish
,
Dover, United Kingdom
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23 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 23: English reviews
Dover, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2015

This is 'Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club' Soho.....in Folkestone. It is an amazing achievement, created and sustained by Beryl And Derick, the organisers. For several years now they have brought the very best of British and World class jazz to our area. Last Tuesday, I witnessed the Simon Spillet Quartet perform a mesmerising set. The empathy between pianist, John Critchinson, bassist,... More 

Helpful?
Thank rdevenish
folkestone
Level Contributor
29 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2015

Very impressed with the performance of 'Les Miserables' at The Tower Theatre. Performed by the youth section who put their heart and soul into it. We have seen this production in the West End several times but enjoyed watching the youngster perform. A well deserved standing ovation. Will be visiting again. A bonus to have a local theatre.

Helpful?
Thank barbiefolkestone
Level Contributor
97 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2015 via mobile

A half term trip and our first to this theatre. Was really impressed by the youth theatre's performance of Les Mis- my 12 year old enjoyed it and it wasn't hugely different to the west end show we saw years' back- all the key points were in. Just one thing- actors w/out mikes couldn't be heard, a bit of a... More 

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Thank Flyinmy
Dartford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2014

Spent a thoroughly enjoyable evening watching a very proessional adaptation of this musical. This was our first visit to this very interesting venue. The ticket prices, refreshments and programme were incredibly modest. The youngsters in the cast were adorable and I am sure some will go on to bigger things. So pleased we found this place and will make a... More 

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1 Thank Bernard B
Folkestone, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2014

Been here lots of times: to see shows, quiz nights and concerts. The Tower is the home of FHODS, an enthusiastic band of volunteers who put on plays, musicals and pantomimes and also run the Theatre. There is a popular weekly Jazz Night. The Theatre is also available for private hire for parties, weddings etc. and is used by the... More 

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Thank smashinglady
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
126 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2014

Decided to go in the little cafe above the theatre for lucnh, and it was a bargain. £10 for two sarnies/crisps/salads, and huge pot of tea for two! The theatre is built into the cliff, from the beach it is quite a feat of engineering, and from the top you can walk right over it, and think it is just... More 

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Thank GrumpyTart
Folkestone, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
113 reviews
73 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2014

If you want a good night out, you should consider going to the Tower Theatre!!. Great shows and a beautiful theatre . Jazz night every Thursday featuring world class acts is worth checking out! There is a fantastic Play coming up " sailor Beware" so get your tickets soon, as is such a popular play the theatre should be packed

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1 Thank slumberjumper
Folkestone, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
430 reviews
235 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 168 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2014

Ambience, comfort, viewing, indeed everything about it is of 5 Star rating. Always a pleasure to enjoy concerts, plays, pantomimes etc. there. In addition to the attractions that take place in the main auditorium, there is the regular (generally Thursdays at 8.30 p.m.) Folkestone Jazz Club that bounces in the huge comfortable Bar / Lounge and it always gives a... More 

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1 Thank Tony36
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2014 via mobile

Amazing night of theatre at The Tower, a Nepalese cinema night, fantastic to see something different! Lovely food, drinks flowing courtesy of the wonderful bar staff (especially Cathy, rushed off her feet but always smiling!). Special mention for Ben, the man behind the curtain making sure everything went smoothly! A hidden gem in Folkestone!

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2 Thank SarahBear88
Folkestone, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2014

great venue to catch a show or hire for your own event as we did for our daughters wedding and many family dos

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Thank madtrucker1965

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