A BOLTON theatre will throw open its doors as part of an event to celebrate the country’s architecture and culture.

Heritage Open Days will take place at Bolton Little Theatre (BLT), Hanover Street, next week to give people the chance to explore the venue.

On Saturday, September 13 and Sunday, 14, there will be theatre tours of the backstage area, dressing rooms and rehearsal rooms, as well as newspaper cuttings, designs, maps and photographs from the theatre’s extensive archive on display.

Elizabeth Tatman, BLT chairman, said: “The open days are a great opportunity for people to get behind the scenes at Bolton Little Theatre.

"After the success of last year's event, visitors can once again access parts of the building normally off limits to the public.

“They can also chat with volunteers about what goes on inside a busy theatre like ours that is open all year round.

“There'll be lots of interesting and fascinating things for people of all ages to see, who have an interest in theatre or local community heritage.”

The building dates back to the 1830s and, in 1847, was part of Coronation Iron Foundry, Gas Street, although it fell into disuse by the 1890s.

In 1910 and 1927 the shape of the building is seen on maps but it was not until 1939 that the familiar theatre frontage appeared in Hanover Street.

Over the years people have recorded their memories of how the theatre took over the derelict building, formed a Guild, raised money for alterations and finally opened the theatre — reported in the Bolton Evening New on Friday, November 16, 1934.

Heritage Open Days are also being held at Bolton Parish Church and Bell Tower, Silverwell Street; United Reformed Church of St Andrew and St George, St George's Road; Bolton Steam Museum, Mornington Road, Chorley Old Road; Hall i’th’ Wood Museum, Green Way; The Waste Experience, Hurstwood Court, Raikes Lane Industrial Estate; Holy Trinity Church, Church Street, Horwich; Smithills Hall, Smithills Dean Road; St Augustine's Church, Thicketford Road, Tonge Moor; St Katharine’s Church, Church Street, Blackrod and St Stephen and All Martyrs’ Church, Radcliffe Road, Darcy Lever.

Visitors can turn up and enjoy free admission to the theatre during the weekend, from 10am to 3pm. There is no need to book.

Visit heritageopendays.org.uk for more information.