A DRAMA society has raked in thousands of pounds for a popular Romsey theatre in a bid to protect a £200,000 grant to improve the building.

The Romsey Amateur Operatic And Dramatic Society (RAODS) aimed to raise £10,000 to protect their reserves for the Plaza Theatre’s Future Project.

This will see the roof extended to create a higher building as part of their £550,000 plans.

Now, a volunteer from RAODS, Kevin Cornmell, has thanked the public for giving more than £14,000 to help cover their running costs - £20,000 a year.

READ: Romsey theatre appeals for £10,000 >>>

He said: "The Plaza Theatre would like to thank all our supporters for their generosity.

"We are pleased to report that once Gift Aid and a kind £2,000 donation from local business, TRPP Wealth Management, are added into our totals we will be very close to our second £20,000 stretch target.

"We are humbled and amazed by our fantastic local support; we look forward to an exciting season of COVID-safe shows for our patrons."

He added: "We are already returning cinema back to the Plaza on Wednesday nights, Saturday matinees and hope to have our customised pantomime 'Jack & The Beanstalk' by RAODS members Bob Heather and Georgette Ellison ready for the new year."

READ: Actor Mark McGann throws his support behind Plaza's appeal for £10k >>>

As reported, the Plaza in Winchester Road was forced to close due to coronavirus meaning the theatre’s income plummeted for months.

The appeal was part of a national campaign, which was started by Theatres Trust and ran for 28 days.

The Plaza was built in 1931 as a 400 seat cinema.

But, after it closed the building was used for several years as a bingo hall, until that also shut down in the early 1980s.

READ: Theatre announces they WILL stage their annual pantomime >>>

The theatre was then bought for £150,000 and alterations were made to provide a 246 seat theatre.

It has also been made available by RAODS for the community to hire, where dance schools, local societies and even tribute bands have used the Plaza.