BMI Specifications - Technical

Previously a Miners’ Welfare Institute built in 1925 with Miners’ contributions. Refurbished and reopened in February 1992, with funding from the Welsh Office and Islwyn Borough Council. Now financed by Caerphilly County Borough Council and Arts Council Wales.

Memorial Theatre Technical Specifications

The Memorial Theatre has flexible seating and can accommodate 550 (standing room only), 412 (full seating and performance on stage), or 256 (reduced seating and performance on flat). 4 seats are kept as house seats for each performance, and 17 seats are reserved for disabled patrons, and are only released at the discretion of the duty manager.

Stage as Performance Area

  • Proscenium arch opening: 7.18m x 4.2m
  • Performance area: 8.1m x 6m (including apron)
  • Wing space: 1.3m (SR/SL)
  • Height to grid: 5.04m at rear of stage, no flying
  • Tab tracks: US, MS, DS
  • Stage raked: 1:24, hardboard, suitable for dance (not barefoot)
  • Dock Doors: 2m x 2.5m
  • Maximum Seating Capacity: 412

‘Flat’ - Floor Space as Performance Area

  • Floor space: 14m x 9m (with rake & balcony seating only)
    Maximum seating Capacity: 256
  • Floor space: 14m x 20m (fully retracted seating)
    Maximum standing capacity: 550
  • Get-in via car park at rear of building – double doors into the auditorium
  • White Cyclorama Cloth
  • Backstage crossover
  • Red House Tabs – operated from SR or control room
  • Orchestra area available by removing 4 rows of seats, accommodates 30
  • Petrof Baby Grand Piano, 7 Octave (lives on flat)
  • 2 pairs of black legs available (4 in total)
  • 6 of 10 x 6 Hard Black Maskers available
  • 12 stage weights & braces available
  • 12 of 6 x 4 steeldeck staging available
  • 9 of 8 x 4 steeldeck staging available
  • Various quantities of legs for steeldeck available (sizes 15’, 30’, 45’)


We have 4 dressing rooms backstage, 2 of which can accommodate 4 people each, and two that can accommodate 15 people each (or 1 dressing room for 30 people by removing the flexible wall).

Unfortunately backstage areas are currently not accessible to wheelchair users due to the stairs. All dressing rooms are clean, comfortable and lockable, and are equipped with clothes rails, sinks and excellent lighting.

Unfortunately due to the design and infrastructure of the building we do not have any showers or toilets backstage.

Visiting companies need to use the front of house toilets, and we apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused.

Seating Capacities - Flexible Seating Unit

  • Floor level 156 seats
  • Rake 200 seats
  • Balcony 56 seats
  • Total 412 seats
  • Standing capacity 550


3 colour wash & specials, 1 ETC Congo Jnr Lighting desk.
Please contact the technical department for more information.


Sound system available
Please contact the technical department for more information

Stage Management

Prompt positions SL & SR (SR in auditorium)


Navigation Bar Technical Specifications

The Navigation Bar is a multi-purpose space that opens as a bar during performances in the Memorial Theatre, and can also be used as a performance space, or can be used for functions, meetings, rehearsals and workshops.

  • Floor space: 8.5m x 10.7m
  • Mobile staging unit: 7.3m x 3.7m
  • Basic lighting rig available.
  • No sound system. Please contact the technical department for more information.
  • Seated capacity: 110 (cabaret style)
  • Standing capacity: 250


  • All front o House facilities are fully accessible.
  • Row HH reserved for wheelchairs
  • Level access, ramps, lift, assistance available.
  • Limited number of disabled parking spaces available by reservation.
  • Dance Studio
  • Catering & hospitality available, please contact the Deputy Theatre Manager

Abingdon Dance Studio

The Dance Studio is situated on the second floor of the Institute and can accommodate 15 to 20 people (no wheelchair access sorry).


Blackwood Miners’ Institute has no dedicated visitor / customer parking.
We have a small disabled parking area at the rear of the building. We can offer visiting companies space for ONE vehicle only in this car park.

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