Dorking Halls

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FB Blog - Dorking HallsSpringwood is the perfect base for visiting some of the most attractive small towns and villages in Surrey.

Many people overlook the local attractions of this home county and instead focus on sight-seeing in the hustle and bustle of London, however, there is plenty to see and experience right on our door-step and at a much more sedate pace!

Just twelve miles, and therefore an easy half hour drive away, from Springwood is the small market town of Dorking with its rich history originating as a staging post on the Roman road from Chichester to London.  It may be small but this town boasts an emerging centre for entertainment in guise of the refurbished Dorking Halls.

Dorking Halls, highly recommended on TripAdvisor, is the home of a long-standing music festival and a newly refurbished cinema and theatre venue. The main refurbishment started in 1997 but in 2011 digital technology and a 3D cinema were introduced in the premises.

Therefore with three digital cinema screens and through state of the art satellite technology they are able to deliver live broadcasts by some of the best performing arts companies in the world; such as  the National Theatre, Royal Opera House, Royal Shakespeare Company, Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Ballet and more…

Perhaps the town’s associations with the artistic elite are influential here – Dorking is the birthplace of the eminent actor Sir Laurence Olivier and the famous composer Ralph Vaughan Williams lived in the town for much of his life; it is said that the lark in his famous piece “The Lark Ascending” is known to have been heard in the Mole Valley to the north of the town.

The Dorking Halls building was commissioned in 1926 by the Leith Hill Music Festival committee and they owned it until the Second World War.  During the war period it was used by the Meat and Marketing Board and the Army; it was left in poor repair and subsequently bought by the local council for only £15000.  Although it was used for community events the property became rather dilapidated until the mid-1990’s when the refurbishment programme commenced.

The programme of screenings and events is wide and varied and is regularly updated on their website.

And, of course, there is also the option to see the latest cinema block-buster productions too!

Dorking Halls also has two fully licensed bars and a cafe serving the pre-event snacks and meals so you can make the most of your visit and make a real afternoon or evening of it.

Regular live events also include the Dovehouse Fine Antiques Fair which is held on the third Sunday of each month.  The Dorking Halls Antiques Fair, established over 38 years ago, is one of the longest and highly regarded fine antique fairs on the circuit.  Doors open to the general public at 9.30 am and there are certain to be treasures galore.  Will you be able to spot an example from our favoured Art Deco era?

 

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