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The Marlowe Theatre, the city's main performing arts venue, re-opened on Oct 4th 2011 after a complete rebuild. The brand new theatre is in a striking contemporary building, in the centre of the old city. The main auditoreum has seating for 1200 people over three tiers. A wide programme of events with opera, West End musicals, theatre, dance, comedy, music, pantomime and more.
The Gulbenkian Theatre at the University of Kent is the city's secondary performing arts venue. Catch one of the Uni-Buses up to the campus and follow signs. Theatre, dance, talks, music and good for comedy with frequent shows from well-known stand-ups.
Other classical music: for a memorable setting try a concert at Canterbury Cathedral. There is also a regular programme by Music at St Peter's at the Methodist Church and performances by the Canterbury Orchestra . The two universities both have new music venues; St Gregory's Centre for Music at Christ Church University and the Colyer-Fergusson Concert Hall at University of Kent.
Other rock, folk and alternative music: Weekly blues, singer-songwriter nights and other genres at The Ballroom. For something different, Free Range is a series of contemporary, experimental and improvised music events on Thursdays (October-March) at Water Lane Coffeehouse. Folk in the Barn is based in the village of Kingston just outside Canterbury but also holds folk concerts at venues in the city. Of course, many pubs and cafe-bars have regular live music gigs; for details, check the listings in a local newspaper.
Poetry: Events feature in the weekly Free Range multimedia series of music, film and poetry on Thursdays (October-March) at Water Lane Coffeehouse.
Cinema:. Odeon is a 2 screen cinema in the city centre by St George's Roundabout showing mainstream releases; The Gulbenkian Cinema is a large single screen cinema at the University Of Kent showing a mix of mainstream releases, world cinema, old classics and art-house movies. Curzon Canterbury is a new 3 screen arthouse cinema in the city centre which opened Oct 2014.
Annual music & arts festivals: The Canterbury Festival, during the last 2 weeks of October, is a major international arts festival that expands the range of performing arts available. City Sound Project is eclectic annual music festival spread over several small venues.
It's worth browsing the events listings at canterbury.co.uk too.