Wells Picture House reopens as Studio 24 in 'new lease of life'

Image of The Wells Picture House interior. The stage is lit up with purple spotlights
The venue has been closed since 2023 [BBC]

An art deco style picture house is being given a "new lease of life" and reopening as a live music venue.

Built in the 1930s, the Wells Picture House closed its doors in 1993 before reopening in 2004 as a nightclub and then closing again in 2023.

But after a £110,000 investment, the venue is set to reopen under the new name Studio 24 later.

Venue manager, Luke Gardiner, said: "I hope it works - we'll give it everything."

The money was invested into transforming the space with a state-of-the-art performance set-up, which will be able to host live music and events of all genres for all ages.

The grand opening will feature a local band called Airflo, which includes two former students of the Blue School in Wells.

Image of Luke Gardiner
Luke Gardiner manages the venue [BBC]

Mr Gardiner was co-running the former nightclub with the owner decided to retire.

After that, he was given free reign to restore the building and develop it into an entertainment venue with capacity for 700 people.

"We're really nervous. It's been hard work and it's a big step," he said.

"The night life economy is really tight. I think the live music, tribute acts and original artists is the way to go.

"There'll be different styles, jazz, rock, dance, everything."

Tom Ransome
Tom Ransome is the assistant manager at Studio 24 [BBC]

Tom Ransome works as the assistant manager at the venue, and wants to encourage up and coming bands to get in touch.

"Everyone knows about this building, hopefully in 10 years time people will know it as Studio 24," he said.

"Our aim in the next year or two is to try and put this venue on the map for live music.

"To try and get touring bands in and hopefully get some big acts in here, so we can give local bands the supporting slots to grow their audience.

"At one point in their life, most people in Wells have come into this building, so I think it has a special place in everyone's heart.

"Looking to the future, I hope it can special for more people," he added.

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