Balor Arts Centre

Balor Arts Centre at night
Balor Arts Centre at night

The Twin Towns has a rich history of local drama with the Butt Drama Circle and the newly built Balor Arts Centre at its heart.

The Butt Drama Circle is at the core of the development of drama, theatre and the arts, not only in Ballybofey, but throughout Donegal. The well known amateur drama group first started out in 1959 staging their productions in the old Butt Hall. A major step was taken in 1982 with the conversion of the old Ritz Cinema premises into what became The Balor Theatre – Donegals oldest continuously running arts venue. The Balor would become the focal point of theatre in the county. In addition to hosting the Butt Drama Circles own productions it was the regular Donegal stopping point for national theatre tours and it’s hosting of annual pantomimes, musicals and schools drama festivals contributed greatly to theatre at a local community level.

Further developments followed. A full time professional theatre manager was appointed in 2004 and in 2008 The Butt Drama Circle returned to where it all began, moving into the Balor Arts Centre - a brand new state of the art complex in the new Butt Hall Centre – a €6.2 million development by the Butt Hall Committee.

The new Balor Arts Centre is a thriving centre for the community. It stages about 120 performances a year. As well as the works of the Butt Drama Circle it operates a very active programme for touring artists with numerous top quality theatre, music and comedy performances. Youth Theatre, music and Irish Dancing workshops are also a feature with the facilities available for hire to community groups for concerts, meetings, exhibitions and social gatherings as may be required locally. It also houses The Balor Developmental Community Arts Group. Founded in 1996 with involvement from The Butt Drama Circle the Balor DCA is a multi-faceted, innovative, community arts group using the arts to positively impact people and communities.

A feature of the auditorium is its adaptability. Retractable seating, demountable staging and movable wings mean space can be set up accommodate intimate cafe style performances, larger theatrical productions with 200 raked seats, 300 seated capacity music and comedy gigs and large scale dances reminiscent of the famed Butt Hall of yesteryear.

The exterior of the building is equally impressive. A major feature at the front is the spectacular viewing tower, which continues above the curved aluminium roof and allows you to view the Twin Towns and surrounding area. There are also three levels of commercial/office space, a first floor social space overlooking the Main Street in Ballybofey and a full basement containing a high quality multi purpose room, green room, dressing rooms and storage.

Full programme details and further information can be found at -