All about the Tower Theatre site
The Tower web site was set up in the late 1990s by Jonathan Norris. It consisted of about 10 pages
comprising a brief history of the Company, details of current shows and some reviews
transcribed from the Company's in-house magazine, Noises Off.
Here's a couple of the original pages to give you a flavour of that first site :
At the end of 2001, more people got involved and we had some professional help to redesign the site. We were given a first class set of page templates and graphics, which were used for ten years, until the end of 2010. The number of pages increased to give more information about current shows, and we started including details of auditions and social events. As the Company's photographs were now usually taken on digital cameras we were able to include many more higher-quality photos.
Here's two pages which represent that era of design :
- A page about the activities of the Friends of the Tower
- Information for our members about a production of Julius Caesar
The next development was to transfer details of all our programme archive on to the web. This major undertaking took two years, from 2003 to 2004. A web page was created for each one of our 1400+ productions. Programme details were typed (a mammoth task undertaken by Barbara Waddell), a suitable photo selected and scanned, and the web page was formatted.
In 2006, Laurence Tuerk devised our first online box office system, using secure links to our ISP and an encryption system for credit card information. This was slowly been taken up by our customers, and now nearly all bookings are taken this way, as well as Membership Applications and Renewals.
In 2010, the Marketing Team felt that the site was starting to look old-fashioned and so sought tenders from a number of web companies to redesign it. In the end we decided to use the services of our print designer, Mark Stewart-Birch, so we were able to implement a consistent style across all our publicity material.
Here's two pages in that format :
- A 2010 page about "The Theatre" project
- An interesting feature in Sardines magazine about the Company's activities, published in 2013
With the increase in the use of mobile phones and tablets to view the web, we reformatted the site in 2015 to be "responsive" - that is, to display appropriately depending on what device you are using. While updating the archive pages for that, we also took the opportunity to add many extra pictures of past shows.
Typical pages then looked like this :
The latest development, in 2019, was to introduce a new format aimed in particular at making the purchase of tickets and membership more streamlined - both from the point of view of our members and customers and also for the Tower's office staff.
We're always happy to hear from you, whether it's a comment on the existing site or a suggestion for a new feature. And please do report any technical problems you are having - we do try to check that our pages work on all major browsers and on a range of screen sizes, but sometimes errors do slip through. Speak to Laurence Tuerk or Nick Insley who are involved in running the site, or contact us via the Tower Theatre Office.