Who We Are
Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service
To create excellent theatre!
- To present a quality programme of popular and challenging theatre
- To keep members happy and involved
- To provide an attractive and safe venue
- To remain financially viable
- To pursue a development strategy
- To pursue excellence in theatrical standards
- To make involvement enjoyable
- To treat everyone with respect and without discrimination
- To foster personal development
A Brief History
Progress Theatre was established in 1946 by a young, enthusiastic and forward-looking group, to present new and challenging theatre productions in Reading.
The first production was staged in 1947 and for the first five years performances were held in Palmer Hall, West Street. The Mildmay Hall, on The Mount, was found to be available for rent from the Co-operative Society, who agreed to its use as a theatre. The members, together with families and friends, converted it into a working theatre and the first in-house production was held in October 1951. In 1963-64 after a massive fund-raising campaign, the Freehold of the building was bought thanks to a fair price from the Co-op.
The basis of the present foyer was built at that time together with other (then modern) facilities. With other alterations and extensions over the years, productions are still staged in the same building. It now seats 96 people and includes wheelchair access and a hearing loop.