A Bognor Regis theatre has made lots of new friends.
Residents, patrons and visitors alike showed their support when they attended the launch of the Friends of the Regis Centre.
The Belmont Street theatre extended the hand of friendship to anyone willing to help support the facility and help it grow.
Mike Stevens, the centre’s managing director, said: “The whole night went extremely well.
“There was a real buzz about the place, which is just what we wanted to create.
“The night was about showing not just the audience that we wanted to show what we do at the Regis Centre but also letting businesses know about sponsorship opportunities.”
Mr Stevens said any money made from the scheme would be ploughed into making the centre better for performers and users, not everyday expenses.
“Friends will be regularly updated on how the money is being spent, and they will be able to see the difference their money is making,” he said.
During the launch event, guests were treated to a variety of entertainment including extracts from past, present and future shows, including recent sell-out Oliver, as well as dance and musical performances from users.
First-time theatre goer, Harriet Beesley, said: “I came along not really knowing what to expect. But I am glad I did.
“The performances were great and it gave someone like me, who doesn’t know a lot about the theatre world a real taster.”
Tom Simmons, 42, who regularly attends the theatre said he thought the scheme was a wonderful idea.
“The idea of having a friends scheme is brilliant,” he said.
“It lets the people who use the theatre help support it.”
The new scheme has several benefits, including priority booking, a 10 per cent discount at its cafe, and the chance to attend exclusive events.
It costs £20 to become a friend and a discounted rate of £30 for a joint membership is available.
The friends scheme is still open to join and all memberships will last for one year.
For more information visit www.regiscentre.co.uk or telephone 01243 861010.