The Mowlem Theatre was opened in 1967 and replaced the smaller original Victorian building which had stood for over 100 years. Situated on the sea front at Swanage at the junction of two of the main shopping streets, The Mowlem has a combined programme of typically over 200 film performances each year in addition to 60-100 nights of live theatre, comprising local schools and amateur societies as well as incoming professional productions.
Within the building there are two function rooms available for hire, plus on the ground floor there are various shops, cafes and bars as well.
The original Mowlem Institute was built in 1863 by John Mowlem, following his retirement. Mowlem built the institute on the sea front of Swanage overlooking the bay.
The original institute building was replaced in 1967 by the current Mowlem Theatre building. It contains various spaces to be used for various activities for the local community.
The original 35mm cinema projector and the surrounding setup was replaced with a brand new digital projector system, plus a new sound rig and screen.
The theatre hosts a wide variety of shows: from local companies and schools, to famous faces like Jethro and Richard Digance, plus an annual rep theatre season and plenty more besides.