The Elgiva Theatre in Chesham will take on the management of a ‘historic venue’ in the town. 

The St Mary's venue will look after The Temperance Hall which is known better as the Little Theatre by the Park on behalf of Chesham Town Council.

The venue opened in 1852 when the Chesham Temperance Society acquired two cottages in Church Street for £152, before they expanded its premises for a further £77, by purchasing the adjoining cottage.

The collective total of £229 in 1852 is the equivalent of around £40,000 in 2024.

Known as the Temperance Hall at the time, the venue became a focal point for community gatherings, promoting the values of temperance and providing a space for various social events.

In 1958, the Chesham Urban District Council purchased the hall from the Temperance Society with a ‘restrictive covenant’ in place, prohibiting the sale of intoxicating liquors on the premises.

While this marked a transition of ownership, the building’s purpose remained dedicated to serving the community.

As the years passed, the hall transformed.

Most notably in 2003 when it was rebranded as The Little Theatre by the Park. 

It continued to host a variety of performances and societies, enriching the cultural life of Chesham.

David Cooper the Elgiva’s manager, said: “We are delighted to be able to take over the care and maintenance of one of Chesham’s long-standing buildings.

“It will allow us to expand and develop our wide-ranging programme and continue to celebrate our ethos of Elgiva for Everyone.

“While there will obviously be a period of adjustment and some work to be done, we can’t wait to get started and look forward to sharing our plans for this new venture with our community later this year.”