VIDEO: All About the Baxter Theatre Centre in its Fortieth Anniversary Year
The Baxter Theatre Centre is available for conferences, events and film shoots. Find out all about this historical Capetonian venue in this video, released as a part of the theatre centre's fortieth anniversary celebrations.
The Baxter Theatre Centre, designed by the award-winning architect Jack Barnett, opened on 1 August 1977. It came into being as the result of a bequest from the late Dr William Duncan Baxter who, in his will, bequeathed R553 866 to the University of Cape Town for the purpose of establishing a theatre which would, in his words, "develop and cultivate the arts in Cape Town and the adjacent districts for all artists". This bequest was split between building the premises and establishing a permanent endowment fund for the Baxter Theatre's activities.
Barnett wanted to design a theatre that embodied the South African spirit and culture at a time when South Africa was much divided. A theatre like the Baxter had to embrace all the people of Cape Town, which was complicated by laws that were enforced in the country at the time. The Entertainment Act of 1931 introduced legal censorship and the Publication and Entertainment Act of 1963 segregated black and white audiences, unless under special licences. Were the Baxter have been built in the city centre, people of colour would not have been able to access it, which is why the University of Cape Town became a strategic location for a theatre for all.
Forty years later, the public has been invited to take up the opportunity of ensuring that the Baxter Theatre Centre remains a crucial and vibrant venue for generations to come. The iconic theatre has embarked on an exciting and innovative initiative called the 40/80 Campaign, which will raise money for the theatre's endowment and production funds. The public can contribute by entering a monthly competition with fantastic prizes for a nominal entry fee of R100, by making a donation when purchasing a ticket for a production, by making a donation through the theatre centre's website, by naming a seat, or by aligning a corporate and business brand with the Baxter Theatre. All details are available on the Baxter Theatre's website.