The distinctive theatre complex in the shadow of the Malvern Hills in Grange Road, Malvern, has provided entertainment and the arts since 1885 - but its income disappeared overnight when it closed its doors in March due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
Unlike most other theatres, only 1% of its running costs are publicly funded and so it relies on ticket sales to keep operating. Malvern Theatres has some emergency reserves to rely on, but with social distancing measures set to continue and theatres likely to be one of the last places to reopen, these savings will soon run dry.
With that in mind, Malvern Theatres bosses have launched a fundraising appeal with hopes to reach at least £100,000 through donations from its audiences, friends, and supporters.
Every penny will be used to cover unavoidable monthly costs, as well as bolster the theatre's diminishing reserves.
It is a heavy blow for theatre bosses as the venue has gone from strength to strength in recent years, hosting stage premieres before shows head to London's West End or tour nationally. Earlier this year, Malvern welcomed Blithe Spirit starring Jennifer Saunders ahead of its stint in London.
New shows flock to Malvern including Blithe Spirit starring Jennifer Saunders in 2020
Later, the theatre became known for airing works by famed local composer - the world-famous Edward Elgar.
To help revive the theatre in the Sixties, Malvern Festival Theatre Trust was set up in 1965 that included an extensive refurbishment. J B Priestley even presided over the opening ceremony of the first summer season
Theatre's Hour Of Need
The theatre has taken all steps to reduce its monthly overheads but still has significant unavoidable outgoings and the next few months will be critical for its survival. The theatre's skeleton staff are also busy applying for trust and grant support to help the theatre get through the next few months.
Chief Executive Nic Lloyd said: "Malvern Theatres is at the heart of our community and we are so delighted that so many have come forward to help us in our hour of need.
"We work hard to provide entertainment 364 days of the year, not to mention our weekly classes for people of all ages and abilities, and we know that the loss of the theatre would be devastating for everyone in the town, including the many businesses who rely on us for customers.
"Thank you to everyone who has donated so far, including the many people who have set up monthly direct debits. If you've yet to contribute, please consider doing so today. Every single penny we raise over the next six months will make a vital difference to our future."
Actor Robert Lindsay has helped bring in money to Malvern Theatres in the past
Many stars of stage and screen have been involved with helping boost fundraising for Malvern Theatres including actor Robert Lindsay.
Members of the public are also doing their own fundraisers for the theatre, including Leigh Sinton postman Ian Palmer who will be doing his usual round dressed as a superhero and is hoping to raise £500. To donate visit malvern-theatres.co.uk/support