The Hawthorne Theatre, The Campus, AL8 6BX is funded and managed by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council. Copyright © 2013 Campus West
Campus West exists to provide audiences from the Borough of Welwyn Hatfield and beyond with access to an affordable, challenging and fun programme of events and activities. We will particularly strive to ensure am exciting range of events and activities are available to families using theatre, film, entertainment and roller skating to bring adults and children together. In doing so our mission will strengthen the community we serve through building relationships and stimulating imaginations and opportunities
The ideal space for small- to mid-size touring theatre, the Theatre also doubles as Hertfordshire's best known art house film venue. Boasting state-of-the-art film projection equipment and Dolby stereo sound. It can also be hired for corporate events, alongside a number of superbly equipped conference rooms with free Wi-Fi and a dance studio.
Campus West opened on 8 December 1973, a contemporary building of pleasing red brick with white mullions. The original entrance is now that of the town's library, whereas the main entrance to Campus West, RollerCity and the Hawthorne Theatre is now located adjacent to the car park.
Automatic sliding doors provide access for all to the Box Office, RollerCity and
a disability friendly lift to the first floor. Going further inside leads to the
Hawthorne Studio - a large, attractive performance space - and ground floor conference
rooms, all with full audio-visual facilities. The Heritage Corridor contains interesting
exhibitions featuring local history.
Fully refurbished in 2010, RollerCity is Hertfordshire's only purpose-built roller
skating rink and regularly attracts capacity crowds over a variety of weekly skate
sessions. Inside, there is a well-stocked shop for all your skating needs, plus another
selling a variety of sweets, sandwiches, snacks and drinks.
Leaving the Box Office via the sweeping grand staircase leads to the large, recently
transformed, theatre foyer which hosts two art galleries - The New Maynard Gallery
and the Dame Flora Robson Gallery, both with changing displays. Humphrey's Coffee
Shop sells a delicious range of coffees and teas, tasty sandwiches, toasties, cakes,
and much more, alongside a fully-stocked bar. The surroundings are sumptuous, with
beautiful black leather settees, attractive tables, plants, books or a range of daily
newspapers to read whilst you enjoy a coffee - and it's open to everyone all day
and into the evening. Wi-fi is also available so you can even sit and do some work,
or email your friends, on your laptop whilst having a delicious cappuccino.
Campus West's 'jewel in the crown,' is the much loved, newly-rebranded 361-seat Hawthorne Theatre. Two sets of double doors lead to a state-of-the art stadium auditorium where comfortable plush seats (installed in August 2010) afford ample legroom.
The theatre was redecorated in 2010, incorporating a new sound system as well as
new stage curtains and drapes. The large stage plays host to drama, comedy, ballet,
musicals and community productions. It has also been famous for many years as the
premier art house cinema in Hertfordshire. It is one of the very few cinemas which
can show academy prints in the correct ratio using special lenses, so archive film
of pre-1955 will not be compromised by cropping. The best of the latest 'first run'
releases are shown and family films are particularly popular and bring a fun atmosphere
to the theatre.
The theatrical highlight of the year is the Panto Season when Campus West is transformed
into a magical wonderland for one of the most enjoyable and enchanting family experiences
for miles around.
In the autumn of 2012 the Hawthorne Cinema went fully digital - more info
Nearly 40 years after it was built, through continuous improvement and by meeting customer needs, Campus West is still an attractive and 'buzzing' place in which to spend your leisure time.