Bishop Auckland Town Hall is a Grade 2* listed building in the French gothic revival style dating back to 1862 and situated in the town’s Market Square. Opened in 1993, it offers a wide range of services, events and activities for you and your family to enjoy.
The complex has a theatre, gallery, cinema, library, visitor information point and a coffee shop/bar. It offers a full programme of events throughout the year with productions for all ages and interests, featuring live theatre and musical performances, film shows, exhibitions, workshops and much more.
Every possible strand of the arts is represented in our comprehensive arts programme and are all featured on a regular basis and there is a constant programme of events for children, people with special needs and specific interest groups.
The theatre was named after the original Eden Theatre which once stood in Bishop Auckland. The father of Stan Laurel (real name Jefferson) managed the Theatre – at the end of the nineteenth century, then again in the 1920’s.
The raked seating and flat stage area lends the room to be used as a cinema and a regular program of events are scheduled.
As well as being used as a cinema and for theatre or live music performances the Eden Theatre is also the main function room for the Town Hall. Many different uses have been made of the space over the years – from tea dances (most Tuesday afternoons), to performances and exhibitions.
One of the main attractions of the Town Hall is the McGuinness Gallery which provides a splendid location for artists to display their work. The McGuinness Gallery is named in honour of renowned local mining artist Tom McGuinness (1926-2006) and his Printing Press, which is on long term loan to the Town Hall by his family, is used at the monthly Print Workshops which take place here.
Named after local historian Frank Hutchinson, the library has free internet access, local and family history material, and a programme of book and craft related events for young and old. Local and regional information is available from the visitor information point within the library.
The Elgar Room was named after the famous composer Sir Edward Elgar, who had links with Bishop Auckland. It is just one of the many function rooms available for hire within the building.
Coffee Shop/Laurel Room
The Laurel Room was named after the actor Stan Laurel who went to school in Bishop Auckland and who’s father managed the original Eden Theatre.
The Coffee Shop has a delicious selection of sandwiches and cakes available as well as a fully licensed bar providing a range of alcoholic beverages alongside tea, coffee and soft drinks to refresh you during the day.