The Exmouth Players were founded by the late Jessie Blackmore in 1928. Productions were staged mostly at Exmouth Pavilion with rehearsals at the Royal Beacon Hotel, social gatherings took place in a Nissen Hut in the grounds of the “Cranford Club”. A billiard hall became vacant in Bicton Street, Miss Blackmore purchased this building and leased it out to the Players, hence the name “Blackmore Theatre”.In 1984 the Blackmore Theatre was granted a theatre license and all productions have been held there ever since. These include a Pantomime in Jan, plays in March, June, August and October.Since 1979 the Players have hosted a One Act Play Festival where professional adjudicators from all over the country have fallen in love with this unique little theatre.At the turn of the Millennium, The Exmouth Players purchased the theatre and the dream which began in a Nissen hut in the grounds of the Cranford Club became a reality. The Exmouth Players celebrated taking outright control of the Blackmore Theatre, 11 years after being granted a loan to buy it.
The Players received this loan, of £70,000, from East Devon District Council to buy the building in December 2000, along with £5,000 of grants from the District Council and Exmouth Town Council.
After eleven years of hard work, the loan was finally paid off and the theatre was in the hands of the Exmouth Players and it's members.
“We’re very pleased as an organisation that we have now made that final payment, and the Blackmore Theatre is in the ownership of The Exmouth Players and it's members"
We sometime ago lowered the stage height to the floor level. This was done for some of the reasons below:
1, The old stage was creaking and needed work done
2, We wanted to provide easy access, especially with some of our older members
3, To provide a better space for the lighting team
4, The ability to put back in stage blocks at different heights to create levels
Since then, we built and made a number of theatre staging blocks to allow some height to be put back in to the stage depending on the show. This now allows our directors to have even more scope for producing innovative and varied sets & staging. We are aware there has been a reduction in sight lines but when you put this against the increase in flexibility and health & safety, we're sure this is the right move. We believe the staging now has a multi-purpose.
In August 2018, a team of member volunteers started work on improving the dressing room behind the stage. This involves demolishing non-structural walls and ceilings, increasing the height and size of the dressing room overall. It will have improved changing and other facilities. The width of the doorways at each end of the dressing room will be made wider to allow better access to and from both stage wings, including wheel chair access.