Aberystwyth Arts Centre
Aberystwyth Arts Centre is one of Wales' busiest and largest arts centres , based on Aberystwyth University's Penglais campus Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, Wales. It hosts a theatre (312 seats), concert hall (900 seats), studio (80 seats) and cinema (125 seats), as well as four gallery spaces and cafes, bars, and shops.

History
Aberystwyth Arts Centre originally opened in 1970 and work continued until the final phase was completed in 1972 with the construction of the theatre, previously known as Theatr y Werin. The architect of the project was Dale Owen of Percy Thomas Partnership, architects of Cardiff's new Wales Millennium Centre, and the cost was around £1 million. The community arts and education programme was established in 1984, initially teaching visual arts but quickly expanding to cover many traditional artistic pursuits. In 2000 the venue underwent a £4.3 million overhaul creating new spaces including a pottery studio, print room, darkroom, video suite, recording studio and music rooms - plus a new 125 seat cinema, dance studios, studio theatre (80 seats), a new Grade 1 art gallery (taking the total to four) plus total refurbishment of the theatre foyer, bars, craftshop and bookshop. In the spring of 2009, a new £1.75 million redevelopment was completed to add a complex of studio units for artists and creative industries, designed by Thomas Heatherwick. The Creative Units provide a home for the Arts Centre's major artists-in-residence programme for international visual artists and artists from the UK. This programme has been supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Charitable Trust and Wales Arts International. These creative studios won both a Civic Trust Award and the prestigious RIBA award, presented by the Royal Institute of British Architects .

Venues
The arts centre contains four main types of exhibition areas, as follows:

Cinema
The 125 seat cinema is one of only two in the town and dedicates itself to showing a variety of films including Hollywood, foreign and independent films, and classic films, ranging from Casablanca to Raiders of the Lost Ark. It is also currently home to the Abertoir horror film festival.

Galleries
As well as playing host to various special events throughout the year including the International Ceramics Festival, the Arts Centre also has four custom built galleries.
  • Gallery 1: flexible interior space for touring exhibits
  • Gallery 2: contemporary photography exhibitions
  • Cafe gallery: local artists/printmakers
  • Ceramics gallery: permanent collection plus invited artists


Great Hall
This venue with 900 seats was the original performance space until the theatre was built and still hosts larger events including live bands, symphony orchestra concerts and stand-up comedy acts, as well as conferences and the University's examinations and Graduation Ceremonies

Theatre
Previously known as Theatr y Werin, this 312 seat theatre is the Arts Centre's main venue for touring companies including Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Theatre Genedlaethol Cymru, National Theatre, Hull Truck Theatre Company and the Northern Stage Theatre Company. It is also a major centre for Welsh language drama productions. The Arts Centre traditionally creates an annual in-house performance which is exhibited here, typically a popular musical. The arts centre's smaller theatrical venue is a studio theatre with a capacity of around 80, geared towards providing performance space for smaller productions and emerging young theatre companies.

Statistics
The arts centre currently receives over 650,000 visitors a year to the over 800 scheduled events, including 98,000 to the community arts and education programme, according to the latest published annual report. With a turnover of approximately £5.5 million the Arts Centre is recognised as one of the most successful centres for the arts in Wales.