The Corn Exchange Wallingford is a volunteer-run entertainment venue for Wallingford and the surrounding areas. It provides drama, art, music and the latest cinema releases in a friendly, welcoming and relaxed environment.
The Grade II listed Corn Exchange building dating from 1856 is now owned by the Sinodun Players, who bought the derelict building in 1975 and set about converting it into a 175 seat theatre and cinema.
After an incredible amount of effort from many enthusiastic volunteers, it was officially opened by Sir Peter Hall (the then director of the National Theatre) in December 1978.
Throughout the following years, several extensions and alterations to the building have been made, helping to ensure the venue continues to thrive as a successful entertainment venue enjoyed by audiences, visiting companies and all the volunteers who run the building.
The building now boasts a modern foyer, box office and bar area, a coffee/meeting room, auditorium, two rehearsal rooms, two dressing rooms, a fully stocked wardrobe that is the envy of many small drama societies, and a full scenery workshop.
There are well over 100 volunteers actively involved in keeping the Corn Exchange running, with duties ranging between front of house staff (bar, box-office, house-managing, ushering, refreshments), operations (cleaning, maintenance), technical (projecting, lighting, sound), back-stage (stage managing, workshop), admin (programming, marketing, publicity) – there is always room for new volunteers.
Today the venue hosts five productions a year by the Sinodun Players, including its annual Pantomime in January. In between these, the latest films can be seen on the state-of-the-art digital cinema projector and full surround-sound system.
The Corn Exchange Wallingford also hosts many professional touring theatre, ballet, music and opera companies throughout the year, all of whom comment on what a delightful venue it is and how surprised they are to find such welcoming and helpful staff.