A Pirates Of The Caribbean actor is among stars and thousands of people who are backing a campaign to save Southport Theatre and Convention Centre.
Greg Ellis played the part of Lieutenant Commander Theodore Groves in the hit Disney series alongside the likes of Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley.
He also played Michael Amador in 24 and has completed voice-over work in over 100 video games titles.
Greg, 52, grew up in the area and performed on stage at Southport Theatre on his way to stardom. Now he is joining the campaign to reopen the landmark building, which has hosted millions of visitors since being officially opened by Hollywood star Marlene Dietrich in May 1973.
In the Facebook group Save Southport Theatre (STCC) he says: “The Southport Theatre will not go the way of the promenade or the open air swimming pool if I have anything to do with it.”
Lisa Kelly, who was a Front Of House Supervisor at the STCC and worked there for 20 years, is leading the mission to reopen the facility and has attracted thousands of members to Save Southport Theatre (STCC) in just a few days.
She said: “Things are going really well, we have nearly 5,500 supporters. There are some famous faces on the page with Greg Ellis among those who are backing the campaign.
“He grew up in the area and his first performance was on our stage.
“He is really getting behind us!”
The Theatre and Floral Hall complex were officially opened by Hollywood star Marlene Dietrich in May 1973 but closed in March due to the coronavirus outbreak. The firm which had been operating the venue on a short-term arrangement was two years into a three-year lease when the virus struck and subsequently went into liquidation.
Reinvesting in Southport Theatre and Convention Centre is one of the possible schemes mentioned in the Southport Town Deal proposals, which aims to secure £25million regeneration funding for the resort. People are being invited to have their say over the future of Southport, before July 20, online at: https://yourseftonyoursay.sefton.gov.uk/futuresouthport/
Lisa Kelly is urging people to make their views known that they want to see Southport Theatre and Convention Centre top of the list.
She said: “I am delighted with how the campaign is going and the people we have supporting it.
“We have got Greg Ellis, Bobby Ball, Kevin Kennedy and others so far. I have started contacting some performers who have appeared on stage and asked them to do a video or message of support so hopefully I will get some through in a few days.
“I would also like to see more hotels, B&Bs, restaurants, bars etc get involved in the campaign as the reopening of Southport Theatre and Convention Centre would benefit the whole hospitality industry.
“As yet there have been no decisions made public on the future of the building but we want to show the council and any prospective management companies that we the ex employees, businesses and the people of Southport want to keep STCC and make it great again.
“It’s a huge asset to Southport and it’s economy and to lose it would be a huge disadvantage to the area.”
In March, Sefton Council appointed IPW to appraise long-term investment and redevelopment options for Southport Theatre and Convention Centre.
IPW, a specialist sport, venues, entertainment and business events consultancy, is currently working with Sefton Council to undertake feasibility studies into the future redevelopment of the STCC.
Sefton Council recently agreed to invest around £1million to carry out essential remedial works to the venue.
STCC is already one of the UK’s largest integrated conference centres, offering 14 flexible event spaces suitable for a variety of events, an award-winning hotel and experience facilities including a 1,631-seat theatre auditorium and casino.
The Theatre has enjoyed a rich history, having hosted stellar names including The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Johnny Cash, Diana Ross and The Four Tops. In more recent years, crowds at the venue have enjoyed comic talent including Peter Kay, Jimmy Carr, Bill Bailey and The League of Gentlemen.