08:06 Wednesday 3rd August 2011
Peterborough Breakfast Show
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire
PAUL STAINTON: Peterborough entrepreneur Peter Boizot has been speaking about his disappointment over the Broadway Theatre fiasco. Mr Boizot bought the theatre in the late 1990’s, when it was under threat of demolition. He later sold it to its current owner, but says he had hoped it would be more succesful. Suzie Roberts went to speak to Peter at his home in Peterborough, where she asked him about his earliest memories of the Broadway Theatre. (TAPE)
PETER BOIZOT: Well of course I’m now 81 years old, and this came into existence when I was a mere 7 years old. And my dear Aunt Clara, who lived in All Saints Road, used to take me to the Broadway, it was the Odeon then, to see a film on Thursday afternoon. And we’d go every Thursday afternoon from when I was 7 years old. And then again, on every Saturday morning, we would have a children’s show. And there would be cowboy films. It was a wonderful cinema. We had a great time.
SUZIE ROBERTS: Now many many years later, late ’90s, you bought the Broadway Theatre. What made you do that, do you think?
PETER BOIZOT: There was some worry that it was going to be knocked down and demolished. So I had some money at the time, and I put the money into saving the building. And I kept it going as a cinema, I suppose, for a little while. But then I eventually moved out of it, and I sold it to Mr.Rinaldo Fasulo.
SUZIE ROBERTS: How important do you think it was for Peterborough then, in the ’90s, and indeed now, to have something like the Broadway?
PETER BOIZOT: Oh tremendously important. We have the beloved Key Theatre, which I strongly support, but that only has 400 seats approximately. And the Broadway has 1200. So we can have some big shows there.
SUZIE ROBERTS: Bearing in mind that you saved it, are you disappointed about the way that it’s gone? Were you hoping it would be more of a success?
PETER BOIZOT: I’m a bit mystified the way it’s gone. And I am disappointed certainly. I’d like to see it put on top theatrical performances, and even some ballet, and some classical music, and lots of interesting live shows.
SUZIE ROBERTS: If the Broadway were to close, how would that make you feel?
PETER BOIZOT: Well I’d be very concerned about what was going to happen to it. I would hate to see it knocked down, and turned into another car park. I think somebody has got to back it up with their own cash. That’s what it does need. (LIVE)
PAUL STAINTON: That’s Peter Boizot, the man who brought the Broadway Theatre back into existence really, after being derelict for many years, very sad, talking to Suzie Roberts. We’ve spoken to many people about this story. Kevin Tighe, Chief Executive of Vivacity has released the following statement. They of course run most of the theatres in Peterborough. Kevin says, “I am saddened to hear of the closure of the Broadway, both in terms of the loss of a venue for the city, and the manner in which it closed its doors, leaving many people who had paid for tickets potentially out of pocket. Vivacity strives to deliver high quality theatre and entertainment through the Key Theatre, Key Studio and by working in partnership with the Cresset. It’s not an easy business to be in,” says Kevin, ” When you buy a ticket from us, you can be confident we are looking to provide the very best for Peterborough. As a registered charity, that’s one of our objectives, and you can be sure with us, the show will go on.” Your thoughts on the Broadway Theatre debacle? Many people yesterday suggesting it needs a new name. If it ever comes back, whoever takes it over, they need to come up with a new name for the Broadway Theatre. They can’t call it the Broadway Theatre.