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The theatre was founded on 7 November 1805 and is the fourth oldest working theatre in the United Kingdom. It is staffed by volunteers. The Friends of the Kenton Theatre support the theatre in its activities.
From 1813, the theatre closed and became a non-conformist chapel, a school, unused for a period, a church hall and a store for theatrical scenery. It opened as a theatre again in 1935, with productions by professional repertory companies. In 1951, the proscenium arch was rebuilt and painted by the nationally renowned 20th century local artist John Piper. He also designed sets for some of the productions.
The auditorium currently seats 240 people in total, with 185 in the stalls and 55 in the circle.