Guildford - Culture

Culture

Guildford has the most visited Art Gallery in Surrey, Guildford House Gallery, with over 120,000 visitors per annum, situated in the High Street, in a 17th century Grade I Listed Town House and is run by Guildford Borough Council. Its own art collection includes works of Guildford and the surrounding area, and work by Guildford Artists, most notably John Russell R.A. Also run by the borough Council is Guildford Museum housing archaeology, local history and needlework displays. Smaller private fine art galleries share the High Street with the art gallery.

The town's principal commercial theatre is the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre which sometimes shows productions before and frequently after they have spent time in London's West End. The Electric Theatre opened in 1997 to host performances by musicians and amateur drama groups. It also hosts regular film, family and music festivals as well as comedy and has a Riverside Cafe Bar and Terrace. The boileroom hosts new and established folk, pop and rock acts.

Guildford also has an Odeon cinema multiplex, which is as of June 2007 the only cinema in the world showing digital 4K films to the public . Guildford Civic Hall was the town's main arts and entertainment venue. It closed in January 2004 and has been replaced by a new live entertainment and conference venue, G Live, which opened in September 2011. G Live is operated by HQ Theatres Limited on behalf of Guildford Borough Council. In 2009 the Mill Studio in Guildford featured the English premiere of the one-woman musical, Estelle Bright, starring actress/singer Sarah Tullamore.

The Guildford Philharmonic Orchestra, founded as the Guildford Municipal Orchestra, received full council funding from 1945 until it was withdrawn in 2012. The orchestra will disband in Spring 2013. The opportunity to run the council's classical music service with reduced funding from the council is currently being put out to tender.

Stoke Park, the largest park, is the venue for both the Guilfest music festival during the summer and the Surrey County Show - agricultural and general - on the last bank holiday Monday in May. Previous to 2007, the Ambient Picnic was held in Shalford Park, by the River Wey.

Radio stations, Kane 103.7 FM, 96.4 The Eagle, County Sound Radio (1566 AM), GU2 Radio, and BBC Surrey are based in Guildford.

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