Split across two buildings on Lancaster’s Moor Lane, The Dukes is the only producing theatre in the Lancashire area and the oldest cinema in Lancaster, in operation since 1971. The main building is a converted church (itself dating back to 1796) that’s home to the box office, café bar, a gallery and The Rake and Round theatre and cinema spaces. Further along the lane is Moor Space, another former church that doubles as a secondary performance and rehearsal space. As a whole, The Dukes theatre organisation sets out to bring the best live performance and cinema to Lancaster – and across the region.
The theatre has seen some notable alumni tread its boards, including the award-winning Dame Harriet Walter and Sir Ian McKellen. Andy Serkis, of The Lord of the Rings fame, performed in The Dukes’ first ever ‘Play in the Park’, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Today, The Dukes theatre produces plays around the year, including promenade performances, as well as hosting touring productions, comedy, dance and music. The programme for the independent cinema is nicely varied, and the café bar is the perfect place to grab pre- or post-production refreshments in this award-winning venue.